Custom CuBox Image

The following document describes our own method of creating a custom Kali Linux CuBox ARM image and is targeted at developers. If you would like to install a pre-made Kali image, check out our Install Kali on CuBox article.

01. Create a Kali rootfs

Build a Kali rootfs as described in our Kali documentation, using an armhf architecture. By the end of this process, you should have a populated rootfs directory in ~/arm-stuff/rootfs/kali-armhf.

02. Create the Image File

Next, we create the physical image file, which will hold our CuBox rootfs and boot images.

apt install -y kpartx xz-utils sharutils
cd ~
mkdir -p arm-stuff
cd arm-stuff/
mkdir -p images
cd images
dd if=/dev/zero of=kali-custom-cubox.img bs=1MB count=7000

03. Partition and Mount the Image File

parted kali-custom-cubox.img --script -- mklabel msdos
parted kali-custom-cubox.img --script -- mkpart primary ext4 0 -1
loopdevice=`losetup -f --show kali-custom-cubox.img`
device=`kpartx -va $loopdevice| sed -E 's/.*(loop[0-9])p.*/\1/g' | head -1`

mkfs.ext4 $rootp
mkdir -p root
mount $rootp root

04. Copy and Modify the Kali rootfs

rsync -HPavz /root/arm-stuff/rootfs/kali-armhf/ root
echo nameserver > root/etc/resolv.conf

05. Compile the CuBox Kernel and Modules

If you’re not using ARM hardware as the development environment, you will need to set up an ARM cross-compilation environment to build an ARM kernel and modules. Once that’s done, proceed with the following instructions.

cd ~/arm-stuff
mkdir -p kernel
cd kernel
git clone --depth 1
cd linux
touch .scmversion
mkdir -p ../patches
wget -O ../patches/mac80211.patch
patch -p1 --no-backup-if-mismatch < ../patches/mac80211.patch
export ARCH=arm
export CROSS_COMPILE=~/arm-stuff/kernel/toolchains/arm-eabi-linaro-4.6.2/bin/arm-eabi-
make cubox_defconfig
# configure your kernel !
make menuconfig
make -j$( cat /proc/cpuinfo|grep processor | wc -l )
make modules_install INSTALL_MOD_PATH=~/arm-stuff/images/root
make uImage
cp arch/arm/boot/uImage ~/arm-stuff/images/root/boot

cat << EOF > ~/arm-stuff/images/root/boot/boot.txt
echo "== Executing ${directory}${bootscript} on ${device_name} partition ${partition} =="
setenv unit_no 0
setenv root_device ?

if itest.s ${device_name} -eq usb; then
itest.s $root_device -eq ? && ext4ls usb 0:1 /dev && setenv root_device /dev/sda1 && setenv unit_no 0
itest.s $root_device -eq ? && ext4ls usb 1:1 /dev && setenv root_device /dev/sda1 && setenv unit_no 1

if itest.s ${device_name} -eq mmc; then
itest.s $root_device -eq ? && ext4ls mmc 0:2 /dev && setenv root_device /dev/mmcblk0p2
itest.s $root_device -eq ? && ext4ls mmc 0:1 /dev && setenv root_device /dev/mmcblk0p1

if itest.s ${device_name} -eq ide; then
itest.s $root_device -eq ? && ext4ls ide 0:1 /dev && setenv root_device /dev/sda1

if itest.s $root_device -ne ?; then
setenv bootargs "console=ttyS0,115200n8 vmalloc=448M video=dovefb:lcd0:1920x1080-32@60-edid clcd.lcd0_enable=1 clcd.lcd1_enable=0 root=${root_device} rootfstype=ext4"
setenv loadimage "${fstype}load ${device_name} ${unit_no}:${partition} 0x00200000 ${directory}${image_name}"
$loadimage && bootm 0x00200000
echo "!! Unable to load ${directory}${image_name} from ${device_name} ${unit_no}:${partition} !!"

echo "!! Unable to locate root partition on ${device_name} !!"

mkimage -A arm -T script -C none -n "Boot.scr for CuBox" -d ~/arm-stuff/images/root/boot/boot.txt ~/arm-stuff/images/root/boot/boot.scr
umount $rootp
kpartx -dv $loopdevice
losetup -d $loopdevice

Use the dd utility to image this file to your SD card. In our example, we assume the storage device is located at /dev/sdb. Change this as needed.

dd if=kali-custom-cubox.img of=/dev/sdb bs=1M

Once the dd operation is complete, unmount and eject the SD card and boot your CuBox into Kali Linux