Ricing Kali Linux – Part 3


If you haven’t gone through parts one and two, you should definitely do so before proceeding.  In this tutorial we will cover installing the rofi application launcher, installing the polybar toolbar, and doing some additional tweaking to the UI elements.

Installing Rofi
The Rofi Application Launcher

This is fairly simple. Running “apt install rofi” will get the program installed. Then you just need to edit your ~/.i3/config file. Look for the line “bindsym Mod1+d exec dmenu_run” and replace it with “bindsym Mod1+d exec rofi -show run”. Log out, back in, test it and it and if it works… SNAP THE VM.

Install Polybar

Start by installing the pre-requisistes. Run the command “apt install cmake cmake-data libcairo2-dev libxcb1-dev libxcb-ewmh-dev libxcb-icccm4-dev libxcb-image0-dev libxcb-randr0-dev libxcb-util0-dev libxcb-xkb-dev pkg-config python-xcbgen xcb-proto libxcb-xrm-dev libasound2-dev libmpdclient-dev libiw-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libpulse-dev mpd libxcb-composite0-dev”

Once that is done, download polybar  by running “git clone https://github.com/jaagr/polybar.git”, the build it by running “cd polybar && ./build.sh” You will be prompted to determine what you want to install, I just say yes to everything YMMV. Do your homework on that.

To actually turn on polybar, comment out the following section:
bar {
status_command i3status -t
Add the following line (possibly adjusting for your system:
exec_always –no-startup-id polybar pyrrh1c &

Once polybar is installed, you will need to configure it. I could write a lengthy tutorial on that… But for the sake of brevity you can just download my polybar config file and look at how it’s set up.  This is the one piece I couldn’t reduce to an easy walk through. Basically, just make a folder in your .config folder called polybar, then copy the config file into it.

Install some additional Fonts

Polybar uses some special unicode characters. This doesn’t work well unless you install the appropriate fonts. (mainly siji and unifont) You can install unifont by simply running “apt install unifont”. Install Siji by running the following commands:
git clone https://github.com/stark/siji.git
cd siji
Once that’s done, add the following lines to your .bashrc file
xset +fp /root/.fonts
xset fp rehash

Install Compton
PolyBar and Compton

Compton is a desktop compositor. It basically helps glue things together. To get it running, rust run “apt install compton”, then when it’s done edit your ~/.i3/config file an add the line “exec compton”.At this point your box should look somewhat like the one to the left.

Configure the Exit Sequence to Actually Exit

Edit your ~/.i3/config file. Look for the line “bindsym Mod1+Shift+e exec “i3-nagbar -t warning -m ‘You pressed the exit shortcut. Do you really want to exit i3? this will end you X session.” Change it to “bindsym Mod1+Shift+e exec i3-msg exit”. You will no longer be nagged when you want to exit.:q

That’s all for now. Stay tuned as I may do a more thorough overview for PolyBar at some point. Thanks for reading!

Ricing Kali Linux – Part 1


In this tutorial I’m going to show you the basic techniques I use when ricing Kali Linux. But in case you don’t already know, let’s explain what ricing is first. Urban Dictionary defines ricing like this: “Ricing: To rice, or to soup up a crappy car with the  mistaken idea that type ‘R’ stickers and performance yellow paint make it go faster.” In the spirit of that, the tweaks explained here don’t technically make Kali a more effective offensive security platform in and of themselves, but I find they make the interface easier to use, hence they boost my productivity. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a customized environment?

Before we start, you may want to check out /r/unixart or /r/unixporn for some inspiration.

Download Kali

You can obtain the latest builds (ISO Images, OVA templates, etc.) from the Kali Linux download page or from the Offensive Security downloads page. For this tutorial, I’m going to deploy Kali virtually using VirtualBox. For the remainder of the tutorial, I’ll assume you are doing the same thing.  You can obtain VirtualBox that from their download page

Install/Deploy Kali

Since we’re using VirtualBox, I downloaded and imported the 2018.4 OVA template from Offensive Security. If you need help doing that, take a look at the  documentation. I named my machine “Pyrrh1c Linux” to differentiate it later from a stock Kali VM.

Immediately after you import the OVA, take a snapshot of the VM. I usually name it something like “VM Imported”.  This allows me to undo any changes since the last snapshot was taken, which is important because mistakes happen, and it’s nice to only have to do one step over again instead of numerous.

Power on the machine, and you will shortly be at the login screen. No Install required! If you are following along and doing a traditional install of Kali and need some pointers for the install process, you may want to take a look a the Kali Linux Official Documentation.

Initial OS Preparations

Open up a terminal window and run the commands “apt update”, then “apt upgrade”. This ensures you have all the latest packages on your install. Go pour out a glass of Kraken, this will take a minute…  When you get to the step that asks about grub, use the space bar to select /dev/sda and hit OK.   

Ready to Go

With the OS installed and updated we are ready to get started customizing. Part 2 will covering installing the i3 window manager, feh, wal and rofi. That’s all for now!