How to Install Kali Linux on a Chromebook

How to Install Kali Linux on a Chromebook


3 min read

Installing Kali Linux on a Chromebook is a great way to turn your portable device into a hacking machine. Kali Linux is a Debian-based distribution focused on penetration testing and ethical hacking tools. With over 600 tools preinstalled, it provides a thorough environment to learn and practice cybersecurity skills.

Benefits of Running Kali Linux on a Chromebook

  • Portability - Chromebooks are lightweight and designed for mobility. Adding Kali Linux allows you to take your hacking tools anywhere.

  • Cost - Chromebooks tend to be more affordable than traditional laptops. Installing Kali Linux lets you transform an inexpensive device into a hacking station on a budget.

  • Anonymity - Running Kali on a Chromebook makes it less likely for hacking activities to be traced back to your identity or other devices. It keeps your main operating system isolated from the tools.


Before installing Kali on your Chromebook, there are a few requirements to note:

  • Your Chromebook must be set to Developer Mode. This opens advanced options like the ability to install Linux.

  • Make sure to back up any important local data. Entering Developer Mode will wipe your local storage.

  • You'll need a minimum of 30GB of free space for the Kali installation. Ideally 50GB or more is best.

  • An internet connection is necessary for the initial installation.

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow this straightforward process to get Kali Linux running on a Chromebook:

Enable Developer Mode

  1. Turn off your Chromebook and flip it over to locate a small switch near one of the back edges. This is the Write Protect switch.

  2. Press and hold the Ctrl and Refresh keys together, then tap the Power button without releasing the other keys. Continue holding Ctrl + Refresh while booting.

  3. Click Ctrl + D or F3 when prompted, then Enter to confirm. This will take 10-15 minutes to complete, wiping local data in the process.

Download Kali Linux Image

  1. From another internet-connected device, go to and download the Kali Linux image for ARM Chromebooks.

Move the Image to the Chromebook

  1. Insert an SD card or USB drive into your Chromebook.

  2. Transfer the downloaded Kali image to the external media device.

Install Kali Using Crouton

  1. Launch a Chrome browser window and open the Chrome Web Store. Search for "Crouton" and click "ADD TO CHROME" to install the extension.

  2. Open the Crouton app from the Chrome App Launcher.

  3. Click "Download Kali Linux chroot." Choose the downloaded image you transferred to external media earlier.

  4. Select "Encrypt chroot" for added security. Create a passphrase.

  5. Choose "xiwi" as the target to make Kali integration smoother.

  6. Type "shell" and hit Enter when the installation completes.

Once finished, you can access a full Kali Linux environment right within Chrome OS! Launch hacking tools while benefiting from Chromebook mobility and browser integration.

Launching Kali Linux

  • To open a Kali shell, type "sudo startxiwi -T kali" at a Chrome OS terminal.

  • Run "sudo enter-chroot" to use Kali in a Chrome OS window. Exit by typing "exit."

  • Use the Chrome App Launcher to directly open Kali in xiwi target mode.

Enjoy your Chromebook-powered Kali hacking station! Let your creativity guide how you utilize all the versatile penetration testing tools available.