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 β€œsudo 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:

:~$ sudo 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 conv=fsync 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 > root/etc/resolv.conf

05. Compile the Raspberry Pi Kernel and Modules

:~$ mkdir -p ~/arm-stuff/kernel/
:~$ cd ~/arm-stuff/kernel/
:~$ git clone
:~$ git clone 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 ../../raspberrypi/arch/arm/boot/Image
:~$ cd ~/arm-stuff/images/
:~$ git clone 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-linux-rpi.img of=/dev/sdb conv=fsync bs=4M

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

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