How to Run Kali Linux on Android?

Running Kali Linux on an Android device allows you to have a powerful penetration testing environment in the palm of your hand. Here’s how you can set up and run Kali Linux on your Android device.


  • An Android device (preferably with a good amount of RAM and storage)
  • A stable internet connection
  • A USB OTG cable (for USB peripherals, optional)
  • Rooted or non-rooted device (both methods are described)

Method 1: Using UserLAnd (No Root Required)

UserLAnd is an Android app that allows you to run full Linux distributions, including Kali Linux, without rooting your device.

  1. Install UserLAnd
    • Download and install the UserLAnd app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Setup Kali Linux
    • Open the UserLAnd app.
    • Tap on the “Apps” tab and select “Kali”.
    • Enter a username, password, and VNC password when prompted.
    • Choose a session type: SSH or VNC. For graphical interface, VNC is recommended.
    • Wait for the setup to complete. This will download the required files.
  3. Access Kali Linux
    • If you chose VNC, you’ll need a VNC viewer app (like VNC Viewer by RealVNC).
    • Open the VNC viewer and connect to localhost:51XX (where XX is the session number provided by UserLAnd).
    • Log in using the credentials you set up earlier.

Method 2: Using Termux and AnLinux (No Root Required)

Termux is a terminal emulator for Android, and AnLinux helps to set up a Linux environment within Termux.

  1. Install Termux and AnLinux
    • Download and install both Termux and AnLinux from the Google Play Store.
  2. Setup Termux
    • Open Termux and update the package list:
      pkg update && pkg upgrade
  3. Install the Required Packages
    • Install essential packages:
      pkg install wget curl proot tar
  4. Setup Kali Linux using AnLinux
    • Open the AnLinux app.
    • Go to the “Dashboard” and select “Kali Linux”.
    • Tap on “Copy” to copy the setup script to your clipboard.
    • Open Termux and paste the script by long-pressing and selecting “Paste”. Press Enter to run it.
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.
  5. Start Kali Linux
    • After installation, start Kali Linux with:
    • You now have a Kali Linux terminal running on your Android device.

Method 3: Using Kali NetHunter (Root Required)

Kali NetHunter is an Android ROM overlay that includes a robust mobile penetration testing platform.

  1. Install Kali NetHunter
    • Download the Kali NetHunter image for your specific device from the official NetHunter website.
    • Ensure your device is rooted and has a custom recovery (like TWRP) installed.
  2. Flash NetHunter
    • Boot into your custom recovery.
    • Flash the downloaded NetHunter zip file.
    • Reboot your device.
  3. Setup Kali NetHunter
    • Open the NetHunter app on your device.
    • Complete the initial setup.
  4. Use Kali NetHunter
    • You now have a full-featured Kali Linux environment integrated into your Android device.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Stay Updated: Regularly update both your Android apps and Kali Linux packages to ensure security and functionality.
  • Battery Management: Running a full Linux distro can be resource-intensive, so keep an eye on your battery usage.
  • Use External Peripherals: For a better experience, consider using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, or connect via USB OTG.

By following these methods, you can run Kali Linux on your Android device, turning it into a portable penetration testing toolkit. Whether you choose to go with a non-rooted or rooted method depends on your device and personal preference.

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