Custom Raspberry Pi Image

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

01. Create a Kali rootfs

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

02. Create the Image File

Next, we create the physical image file, which will hold our Raspberry Pi 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-rpi.img bs=1MB count=7000

03. Partition and Mount the Image File

parted kali-custom-rpi.img --script -- mklabel msdos
parted kali-custom-rpi.img --script -- mkpart primary fat32 0 64
parted kali-custom-rpi.img --script -- mkpart primary ext4 64 -1
loopdevice=`losetup -f --show kali-custom-rpi.img`
device=`kpartx -va $loopdevice| sed -E 's/.*(loop[0-9])p.*/\1/g' | head -1`

mkfs.vfat $bootp
mkfs.ext4 $rootp
mkdir -p root
mkdir -p boot
mount $rootp root
mount $bootp boot

04. Copy and Modify the Kali rootfs

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

05. Compile the Raspberry Pi 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
git clone raspberrypi
cd raspberrypi
touch .scmversion
export ARCH=arm
export CROSS_COMPILE=~/arm-stuff/kernel/toolchains/arm-eabi-linaro-4.6.2/bin/arm-eabi-
make bcmrpi_cutdown_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
cd ../tools/mkimage/
python ../../raspberrypi/arch/arm/boot/Image
cd ~/arm-stuff/images
git clone git:// rpi-firmware
cp -rf rpi-firmware/boot/* boot/
rm -rf rpi-firmware

cp ~/arm-stuff/kernel/tools/mkimage/kernel.img boot/
echo "dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 rootwait" > boot/cmdline.txt
umount $rootp
umount $bootp
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-pi.img of=/dev/sdb bs=1M

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