How to Dual Boot Kali Linux and Windows on a Laptop

Where necessary, you may need to have access to a VPS server so you can follow how to implement the steps in this article.  You can get a cheaper VPS Server from Contabo with 4vCPU cores, 8GM RAM, and 32TB Bandwidth for less than $5.50 per month. Get this deal here now

Table of Contents

Cloud VPS S

$5.50 Monthly
  • 4 vCPU Cores | 8GB RAM


$15.50 Monthly
  • 6 vCPU Cores | 16GB RAM


$17.50 Monthly
  • 8 vCPU Cores | 24GB RAM

Dual booting means that a computer is set up to run two separate operating systems on the same hard drive. Each operating system is installed in its own partition, which is essentially a designated section of the hard drive.

People often choose to dual boot for several reasons. For instance, you might want to use different operating systems for different tasks like using Windows for gaming and a Linux distribution for programming.

In this guide, we will show you how to dual-boot Kali Linux and Windows on the same computer.

Hardware considerations to dual boot

The truth is, you don’t necessarily need a high-end computer to dual boot Kali Linux and Windows on your computer. Duo booting is different from virtualization because it allows you to run a single operating system at a time once the booting process is complete. On the other hand, virtualization requires you to have significant computing resources so you can run the host machine simultaneously with the virtual machine that hosts the guest operating system.

RECOMMENDED READING: How can I install an Open SSH Server on Ubuntu Linux?

How much CPU and RAM is needed for dual booting?

Most modern processors are capable of handling dual boot setups. For example, a computer with a duo-core CPU can easily handle dual booting with ease without facing any issues. But for optimal performance, having a Core i3 machine or the equivalent can do the magic.

When it comes to RAM, 4 GB is the starting point if you don’t plan to run so many programs. But also having 8 GB of RAM can do wonders for you in terms of performance.

In general, the minimum machine for dual

How much Disk Storage is required for dual booting?

The most critical part of dual booting is disk storage. You need enough storage space to accommodate both operating systems and their respective software. The minimum storage requirements for popular operating systems like Windows and Linux can vary, but a typical recommendation is to have at least 30 GB to 50 GB of free space for each operating system.

RECOMMENDED READING; How to host a Laravel application on Ubuntu using Apache

Download Kali or Windows

I am assuming that you already have a machine with either Windows or Kali Linux installed, but your plan is to add an extra operating system for dual booting. This means that you need to download the choice operating system that suits the setup you want.

It’s important to note that while Kali Linux is a free operating system, Windows requires you to purchase a subscription license. You need to understand that the average cost of a Windows License is $200.

Both operating systems can be downloaded online. If you want to download Kali, you can visit their website and get it. On the other hand, you will need to visit the Microsoft website to purchase and download Windows.

In this example, we will be installing Kali Linux on a machine with Windows installed already. But you can also use any other operating system for dual boot and it doesn’t have to be limited to Kali Linux only as the process is almost the same.

RECOMMENDED READING: How to Easily Create and Add Users in Linux

Download Rufus

We use Rufus to create a bootable USB drive with the Kali Linux image. Rufus is our preferred choice because of its simplicity and efficiency in creating bootable images on USB drives. It’s also widely used by people who need to install or troubleshoot operating systems on computers. But if you’re familiar with any other similar tool, you can use it as long as it can help you achieve the same results that Rufus offers.

Creating a Bootable Kali Linux image using Rufus

The first thing is to get a fresh USB drive with at least 10GB of space. You need to plug this drive into your computer’s USB port.

Now that you’ve installed Rufus on your local computer, you need to open it as seen in the image below:

Inside Rufus, you need to make sure the following settings are set correctly to create your bootable image:

  • Device: This is the USB drive you plugged into the computer. You’re going to use this drive to create a bootable Kali Linux image. So, you need to select the right name for your USB drive from the dropdown.
  • Boot Selection: You will need to select the Kali Linux you downloaded. All you have to do is press SELECT and navigate to the path or directory where the Kali Linux image is located.
  • Partition Scheme: You will need to select MBR unless you’re using a different scheme.
  • Target System: Select BIOS (or UEFI-CSM) unless you’re using a different system

RECOMMENDED READING: How to Install WordPress on a VPS Server using Cloudron?

When you’ve filled in the required inputs, make sure you go with “Write in ISO Image (Recommended” as seen in the image below:

Disk Partition

We need to create a separate disk partition on which the next operating system, Kali Linux in this case will run. We can achieve this by following these steps

1. Right-click on the Windows icon and go to Disk Management as seen in the image below:

Your disk manager should look as seen in the image below:

RECOMMENDED READING: How to download and install Ubuntu Linux on a Laptop

2. Right-click on the existing disk partition and shrink it

Inside your Disk manager, you have to shrink your existing partition to create room for a second partition on which Kali Linux will be installed.

Hard disk shrinking refers to the process of reducing the size of a partition on a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD). Shrinking a partition involves decreasing the amount of storage space allocated to it, creating unallocated space that can be used for other purposes.

if you already have a separate partition on your computer, then you don’t need to go through this process. In other words, shrinking is only needed if a single partition on your disk occupies all the space. So, you will need to decrease this space to create room for a second or another partition you need to install Kali Linux

To shrink or reduce the size of your existing partition, just right-click on it and select shrink as seen in the image below:

When you click shrink volume, you will be required to specify the amount of space you need to avail for another partition. For example, if you need 30GB of space to be spared, then the value you input will be 300000, representing three hundred thousand megabytes or 30GB. See the image below:

After you’ve shrunk to the appropriate space you need, here is how it will look in the disk manager. See the image below:

Enter the Bios

Now that we’ve allocated the space we need for the second OS installation, we need to reboot the computer and enter its BIOS. Here is a generalized table that includes some common laptop brands and their typical BIOS access keys. Keep in mind that this information can vary, and it’s essential to check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website for your specific laptop model.

Laptop BrandBIOS Access Key(s)
AcerF2 or Del
ASUSDel or F2
DellF2 or F8
HPEsc or F10
LenovoF1, F2, or Novo button
MSIDel or F2
ToshibaF2 or Esc

I advise you to refer to the user manual or the manufacturer’s website for the most accurate information specific to your laptop model.

RECOMMENDED READING: Solved: SSL not installing on Ant Media Server

How to use the BIOS Key button

Press the applicable BIOS Key on your computer Keyboard immediately after your computer is powered on or reboots. Assuming your laptop is Dell, its BIOS key button is F2 so you have to keep pressing this key immediately when the computer powers on until you will be redirected to the BIOS interface.

Please know that the BIOS interface design may differ from one computer brand to another. If you have a BIOS interface which is different from another, please don’t freak out 🙂

Configure BIOS settings

Inside your BIOS settings, you probably need to configure a few things as explained below:

  • Turn off Secure Boot:

Secure Boot is a feature that helps prevent unauthorized software from loading during the boot process of a computer. It ensures that only digitally signed and trusted software is allowed to run when the computer starts up. This is achieved through the use of cryptographic signatures to verify the authenticity of the software.

RECOMMENDED READING: How to install and configure UFW firewall on Ubuntu Linux

When setting up a dual-boot configuration with an older or non-signed operating system alongside a newer signed one, Secure Boot may need to be turned off to accommodate the less secure OS.

The Secure Boot feature is located under the Security section of your BIOS settings see the image below:

  • Specify the order of Boot

Each operating system installed on a computer has its own boot loader (e.g., GRUB for Linux, and Windows Boot Manager for Windows).

The order of booting determines which boot loader is executed first when the computer starts. In other words, the order of the boot processing determines the default operating system that will start if the user doesn’t intervene during the boot process. This is important for you if you have a preferred or primary operating system and want it to be the default choice.

RECOMMENDED READING: How to open Ant Media Ports through the Firewall?

Changing the booting order can be done by going to the Boot section in the BIOS interface as seen below:

Make sure you select the USB drive that has the Kali Linux image to take the first Boot position. This means that your computer will boot off the USB drive first, enabling you to start the installation of Kali Linux.

Now, you need to go to the Save & Exit section. Your computer will ‘reboot’ and boot off the USB drive with the Kali Linux image.

Kali Linux Installation Process

During the Kali Linux installation process, you need to select Install for the standard installation as seen in the image below:

Select Language

Select the appropriate language you want to use on your system. In this guide, we’re selecting English. Seen the image below:

Select Country

Select your country of residence. In this example, We will select the United Kingdom. See the image below:

RECOMMENDED READING: How to use Alibaba Cloud Free credit to Set up Ubuntu server

Select the Keyboard

You need to select the appropriate Keyboard language for your system. In this case, I will select British English. See the image below:

Connect to the Internet

You will need to connect to the internet to download additional files as required by the Kali Linux installation process. See the image below:


You can give your Kali Linux instance any hostname you want. This can be an arbitrary name of anything depending on your preference.

Domain Name

You don’t need to specify the domain name under these settings. You can simply select None


You can specify the Username you will be using to log into your Kali Linux. The Username can be the name of anything you want. You can use your name or the name of your organization.


This is where you put your preferred User Password. If you’re using a long password which is not easy to remember, you need to note it somewhere for future reference in case you forget.

RECOMMENDED READING: How does Alibaba Cloud Free trial work?

Partition disks

Under this section, you need to select Use the Largest Continous Free Space as seen in the image below:

Still, under Disk Partitions, make sure you select the recommended settings as seen in the image below

If you’ve completed selecting the settings you want, you have to press Yes to continue. The installation process will continue for a while and all you have to do is to wait.

RECOMMENDED READING: How to use DASH & HLS Protocols in Nginx RTMP streaming

Software Selection

You will need to press continue under this section. This means that Kali Linux will install with its standard Desktop environment. See the image below

Sometimes there is an error you face under this section when you try to continue. See the image below:

To solve this issue, you need to go back to the Software Selection section as seen in the image below:

Press Select and install software to continue to the Software Selection section. You need to uncheck the following settings:

  • Top 10 most popular tools
  • Default Recommended tools.

See the image below for your reference:

Remove the installation Media

Before pressing continue when the installation is complete, you need to remove the installation media. This means removing the external USB drive that has the Kali Linux bootable image.

RECOMMENDED READING: Step-by-Step Guide to Installing FTP on Ubuntu Server

Boot Loader Manager

Every time your computer boots, or reboots, you will be greeted with the Boot Loader Manager to enable you to select the choice operating system you want to use. See the image below:

This is the dual boot interface you will be using. For example:

  • If you want to use Kali Linux, you will have to select Kali GNU/ Linux
  • If you want to use Windows, you will have to select Windows Boot Manager

RECOMMENDED READING: How to use the apt command in Linux | Syntaxes & Examples

Hire us to handle what you want

Hire us through our Fiverr Profile and leave all the complicated & technical stuff to us. Here are some of the things we can do for you:

  • Website migration, troubleshooting, and maintenance.
  • Server & application deployment, scaling, troubleshooting, and maintenance
  • Deployment of Kubernetes, Docker, Cloudron, Ant Media, Apache, Nginx,  OpenVPN, cPanel, WHMCS, WordPress, and more
  • Everything you need on AWS, IBM Cloud, GCP, Azure, Oracle Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Linode, Contabo, DigitalOcean, Ionos, Vultr, GoDaddy, HostGator, Namecheap, DreamHost, and more.

We will design, configure, deploy, or troubleshoot anything you want. Starting from $10, we will get your job done in the shortest time possible. Your payment is safe with Fiverr as we will only be paid once your project is completed.