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Here's how to install Kali NetHunter on any Android device

This open-source Android ROM adds penetration testing tools to smartphones.
October 27, 2022

Kali NetHunter is a popular open-source Android ROM penetration testing platform. The developers behind the ROM made it so it would work on Google’s older Nexus smartphones, along with older OnePlus phones and some older Samsung Galaxy phones.

Read more: Is Android really just Linux?

However, some enterprising users have found a way to install Kali NetHunter on most Android devices. Keep in mind this method is very unofficial, so you will be installing this program on your phone at your own risk.


In addition to just downloading the ROM, you will need to do some higher-level tasks to install Kali Hunter on your mobile device and get it working.


What is Kali Nethunter?

The platform was first launched in 2014 and is based on the Kali Linux operating system, which is maintained by the company Offensive Security. It allows for the company’s Kali toolset to be installed and used on a number of Android-based hardware devices. It’s used mainly as a network security tool combined with the mobility of an Android product. It includes a touch screen optimized app to more easily handle network attacks.

Prepare your phone ahead of time

Before you download and install this ROM on your Android device, it has to be rooted with a program like SuperSu. You also have to have the BusyBox app installed from the Google Play Store. You should also have lots of free storage on your Android device available. Finally, custom ROMs like CM12, CM12.1, and CM13 are good to have ready to go, but are not required.

Read more: Benefits of rooting your Android phone or tablet

How to install Kali NetHunter

Here’s what you need to do to install this ROM on your Android smartphone or tablet:

  • Once your phone is prepared, go to the Offensive Security website and download the Kali NetHunter ROM version that corresponds to your Android version on your device.
  • Once that’s done, you should extract the Zip file. Then go to /data/app and install the apps present in that folder.
  • Open up your preferred root explorer app, and go to /data/data/com.offsec.nethunter/files/scripts.
  • Copy all the files and paste them into /system/bin (if you don’t see the folder or content in files/scripts, open the NetHunter app and then close it and check again).
  • Open the Nethunter App, go to the Kali Chroot Manager, and install Minimal Chroot. You can also select Full Chroot, but this is not recommended.
  • Open Terminal Emulator or nh-terminal and choose KALI. This will open up the Kali shell. You may be prompted to allow root permission.
  • Run the following commands in the terminal one by one: apt-get update, apt-get upgrade, apt-get dist-upgrade, apt-get install kali-linux-nethunter.

Set up Metasploit In Kali NetHunter

If you want to use Kali NetHunter to its fullest, you will also need to install the Metasploit testing tool. Either run the command msfdb init, or go into the Kali Services Tab on the main Nethunter App and set it to Start at boot. Then to run Metasploit, type in the command msfconsole or open any tool which uses Metasploit.

Try the GUI tools in Kali NetHunter

While you can now use this on your rooted Android device, you may also want to use its GUI tools. If that’s the case, you also need to install and enable a VNC viewer.

  • First, open Terminal and execute the command apt-get install tightvncserver in Kali Terminal.
  • To run VNC Server, type in the command vncserver :1 -geometry 1280×720 -depth 16.

You should then be able to install and open any VNC Viewer from the Google Play Store. Set it up with the following details to connect it to the Kali NetHunter GUI.

  • Alias: Kali Linux
  • Password: The password you set before
  • Address: or your Private IP
  • Port: 5901 (Depends on display, i.e., for display 2, Port will be 5902 and so on)
  • Username: root

That’s how you can install this popular ROM on your Android phone or tablet.