Kali inside Vagrant (Guest VM)
Vagrant is, according to their website, “a tool for building and managing virtual machine environments in a single workflow.” This is all controlled through a single configuration file that has a large amount of configurations to tweak the virtual machine (VM) to your needs. We will look at what the default configuration file is doing, but much more than that is beyond the scope of this page.
In order to properly use Vagrant we need two things. Vagrant itself, and a supported hyper-visor. The Kali Vagrant file supports two, VirtualBox and VMware.
We first will download Vagrant.
If we are on Windows, we will need to follow the previous link and download the proper version (open Settings then go to About, download amd64 if 64 bit or 686 if 32 bit). This will also work for macOS, simply download Vagrant and complete setup.
If we are on a Debian-based Linux system (like Kali Linux), we likely have the
vagrant package available for download:
kali@kali:~$ sudo apt search vagrant Sorting... Done Full Text Search... Done [...] vagrant/kali-dev,kali-dev,kali-rolling,kali-rolling,now 2.2.19+dfsg-1 all [installed] Tool for building and distributing virtualized development environments vagrant-cachier/kali-dev,kali-dev,kali-rolling,kali-rolling 1.2.1-3.1 all share a common package cache among similar VM instances vagrant-hostmanager/kali-dev,kali-dev,kali-rolling,kali-rolling 1.8.9-1.1 all Vagrant plugin for managing /etc/hosts on guests and host vagrant-libvirt/kali-dev,kali-dev,kali-rolling,kali-rolling,now 0.8.0-1 all [installed,automatic] Vagrant plugin that adds an Libvirt provider to Vagrant vagrant-lxc/kali-dev,kali-dev,kali-rolling,kali-rolling 1.4.3-2 all Linux Containers provider for Vagrant vagrant-mutate/kali-dev,kali-dev,kali-rolling,kali-rolling 1.2.0-4.1 all convert vagrant boxes to work with different providers vagrant-sshfs/kali-dev,kali-dev,kali-rolling,kali-rolling 1.3.6-1 all vagrant plugin that adds synced folder support with sshfs kali@kali:~$
Otherwise, we should follow the instructions on Vagrant’s download page.
We next need to download a hypervisor. For the purposes of this guide we will download the free VirtualBox. If we are on Windows or macOS we can click the respective download link and complete setup. Otherwise, we can look for our distribution on the Linux Hosts page. If we are using Kali Linux, there is already documentation we can follow.
Now that we have our hypervisor and Vagrant installed, we can pull our first configuration file.
We must be in a command line and create a new folder/directory that is empty. For this guide we will be using a Kali Linux host system, however the commands that start with
vagrant will be the same no matter what host is being used:
kali@kali:~/vagrant$ vagrant init kalilinux/rolling A `Vagrantfile` has been placed in this directory. You are now ready to `vagrant up` your first virtual environment! Please read the comments in the Vagrantfile as well as documentation on `vagrantup.com` for more information on using Vagrant. kali@kali:~/vagrant$ kali@kali:~/vagrant$ cat Vagrantfile | grep -v '#' Vagrant.configure("2") do |config| config.vm.box = "kalilinux/rolling" end kali@kali:~/vagrant$
We can see it is a very minimal configuration file, however this will start up a VM with the latest release of Kali Linux and take up approximately 10GB after being downloaded and started.
To start this machine, we will run the following command:
kali@kali:~/vagrant$ vagrant up Bringing machine 'default' up with 'virtualbox' provider... ==> default: Box 'kalilinux/rolling' could not be found. Attempting to find and install... default: Box Provider: virtualbox default: Box Version: >= 0 ==> default: Loading metadata for box 'kalilinux/rolling' default: URL: https://vagrantcloud.com/kalilinux/rolling ==> default: Adding box 'kalilinux/rolling' (v2023.3.1) for provider: virtualbox default: Downloading: https://vagrantcloud.com/kalilinux/boxes/rolling/versions/2023.3.1/providers/virtualbox.box ==> default: Successfully added box 'kalilinux/rolling' (v2023.3.1) for 'virtualbox'! [...] ==> default: Machine booted and ready! ==> default: Checking for guest additions in VM... ==> default: Mounting shared folders... default: /vagrant => /home/morales/vagrant kali@kali:~/vagrant$ kali@kali:~/vagrant$ vagrant ssh Linux kali 5.16.0-kali7-amd64 #1 SMP PREEMPT Debian 5.16.18-1kali1 (2022-04-01) x86_64 The programs included with the Kali GNU/Linux system are free software; the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright. Kali GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law. kali@kali:~$ kali@kali:~$ exit kali@kali:~/vagrant$ kali@kali:~/vagrant$ vagrant halt ==> default: Attempting graceful shutdown of VM... kali@kali:~/vagrant$
If we want to tweak our configuration file we can do something like the following:
# -*- mode: ruby -*- # vi: set ft=ruby : Vagrant.configure("2") do |config| config.vm.box = "kalilinux/rolling" # Create a forwarded port config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 80, host: 8080 # Create a private network. In VirtualBox, this is a Host-Only network config.vm.network "private_network", ip: "192.168.33.10" # VirtualBox specific settings config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |vb| # Hide the VirtualBox GUI when booting the machine vb.gui = false # Customize the amount of memory on the VM: vb.memory = "4096" end # Provision the machine with a shell script config.vm.provision "shell", inline: <<-EOF sudo apt update sudo apt install -y crowbar EOF end
Which we can then load into a running Vagrant instance by running the following command:
kali@kali:~$ vagrant reload kali@kali:~$
If we want to re-provision our VM, which normally only runs the first time the machine boots, we can do one of the following commands:
$ vagrant provision # provision the powered on VM $ vagrant up --provision # when VM is powered off, power it on then provision $ vagrant reload --provision # reboot the VM then provision
There are a lot more configuration options that can be found in Vagrant’s docs.
Updated on: 2023-Aug-22