Win-KeX ESM

Content:

Overview

Win-KeX in Enhanced Session Mode will run a Kali Linux desktop session in a separate window using protocols and clients native to Windows. ESM mode is the only supported mode on arm devices.

ESM mode helps keeping the Windows and Kali environments visually apart.

Win-KeX utilises xrdp server and Microsoft's native RDP client.

Using the native Microsoft client might yield a crispier GUI on HiDPI devices. The downside is that it is not s fast as --win or --sl modes to the increased pixel density.

win-kex-esm-arm.png

Usage

Start

  • Start Win-KeX as normal user in ESM mode with sound via:
    kex --esm --sound

  • Note: As of the time of this writing, Windows on Arm contains a bug causing massive packet loss when using "localhost" instead og th IP address to connect to the kali container. As a workaround, use the "--ip" command line switch on arm devices, i.e.:
    kex --esm --ip --sound
    The disadvantage of using "--ip" is that you have to re-enter the ESM password each time you reboot the machine, as the credentials are store using the sessions name, which changes after every reboot. Once Microsoft fixes the bug, we can drop the "--ip" and live happily ever after without having to type in the password again.

  • NOTE: ESM mode is the default Win-KeX mode on arm devices so "--esm" can be omitted in all commands on this page if you are running Windows on Arm.

  • You will be prompted to set an rdp server password during first launch. This is the password of the kali user you would like to login with. The password is store in the Windows credential store and can be changed later via

    kex --esm --passwd

    Tick "Don't ask me again" and confirm the following warnings:

    RDP-Message-1.png

    RDP-Message-1.png

    This will start the Win-KeX server and launch the Win-KeX client in full screen mode: Win-Kex  

Start Root Session

  • Start Win-KeX as root in window mode via:
    `sudo kex --esm

  • You will be prompted to set an ESM server password during first launch. This is the password for the kali root user. The password can be changed later via

    sudo kex --esm --passwd

    This will start the Win-KeX server as root and launch the Win-KeX client in full screen mode.

 

Session Management

  • You can disconnect from active sessions by closing the RDP client; this will close the client but leave the session running in the background
  • You can re-connect to a session by typing
    kex --esm --start-client

 

Sound Support

  • Win-KeX includes pulse audio support

  • To start Win-KeX with sound support, add --sound or -s, e.g.
    kex --esm --sound

     

 

Stop

  • To close the Win-KeX client, log out of the Kali GUI session
    Win-Kex-2

  • To shutdown Win-KeX in ESM mode, type
    kex --esm --stop

Enjoy Win-KeX!


Updated on: 2020-Sep-17
Author: Re4son