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.

You'll need to have root privileges to do this procedure, or the ability to escalate your privileges with the command "sudo su".

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
mkdir -p ~/arm-stuff/images/
cd ~/arm-stuff/images/
dd if=/dev/zero of=kali-custom-rpi.img bs=4M 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 $loopdevice | sed -E 's/.*(loop[0-9])p.*/\1/g' | head -1`
device="/dev/mapper/${device}"
bootp=${device}p1
rootp=${device}p2

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 8.8.8.8 > 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.

mkdir -p ~/arm-stuff/kernel/
cd ~/arm-stuff/kernel/
git clone https://github.com/raspberrypi/tools.git
git clone https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux.git 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 imagetool-uncompressed.py ../../raspberrypi/arch/arm/boot/Image
cd ~/arm-stuff/images/
git clone git://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware.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 command 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=4M

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