Bill Bär /bɛːr/

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Bill Bär /bɛːr/
Bill Bär is a Senior Product Manager and Microsoft Certified Master for Microsoft Search, Assistant, and Intelligence at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington.

Installing Kali on Apple silicon with Parallels

Installing Kali on Apple silicon with Parallels

Installing Kali on Apple silicon with Parallels

  Kali Linux Parallels Apple MacBook M1 macOS

I wrote this post primarily as a future point of reference for getting started with Kali Linux on Apple’s silicon (with Parallels).

Kali Linux is an open-source, Debian-based Linux distribution geared towards various information security tasks, such as Penetration Testing, Security Research, Computer Forensics and Reverse Engineering. You can learn more about Kali at

Assuming you have Parallels 16+ you can either use the free systems installer with Parallels to install Kali or optionally, for more control over Kali’s configuration and a bare bones installation, you can install Kali from an image. This is where the process differs…

The first thing you’ll need to do is download a suitable image. For the M1, there are two options:

OPTION 1 If you don’t want to install Kali you can use the available Live Boot image from

Installing the Kali Linux Live Boot image on a CD/DVD/USB/PXE or within a Parallels VM allows you to have access to a full bare metal Kali (non-persistent) install. In this case you have quick access to the Kali toolset with all the advantages of a bare metal install.

OPTION 2 The second option is to install Kali permanently on a virtual machine if you want to persist your settings.

For this, I used Kali’s rolling installer ‘kali-linux-rolling-installer-arm64’. The arm64 iso can be found at

For more information on Kali inside Parallels see

Once you’ve installed Kali with the rolling installer, you’ll want to install Parallels Tools.

Parallels Tools is a set of drivers for the guest OS that is installed in your VM.

The installation of Parallels Tools on Kali will be a little different from the standard installation requiring you to remount the Parallels Tools disk in exec mode.

To start, select Install Parallels Tools from the Parallels menu (e.g. Actions > Install Parallels Tools).

Next open terminal and enter:

cd /media && sudo umount cdrom0

If you receive a message that the device is busy you can unmount the disk by right clicking the Parallels disk icon from the Kali desktop and select Unmount from the list of available options.

Once it’s unmounted, in terminal, enter:

sudo mount -o exec /dev/cdrom cdrom to mount it again and make it executable.

Once mounted enter: cd cdrom

Finally, install Parallels Tools by entering: sudo ./install

The installer will install Parallels Tools and its dependencies.

The next step is to get sound working… This is perhaps one of the most common quirks, but easy to fix.

To get sound working you’ll need to get PulseAudio running.

To install PulseAudio run the following commands in terminal:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install pulseaudio

PulseAudio is a sound server system for POSIX OSes, meaning that it is a proxy for your sound applications. It is an integral part of all relevant modern Linux distributions and is used in various mobile devices, by multiple vendors.

If you haven’t already, install gedit by running apt install gedit from terminal.

Once installed run gedit.bashrc.

At the end of the output from the previous command enter a new line as:

pulseaudio -D

and then immediately following enter:


Close the window once the above steps are complete.

To test whether or not sound is working, you can speaker-test.

The last step to getting up and running is to update the system. With a default installation of Kali, you should be checking for updates every few weeks.

To update Kali, in the terminal, enter:

cat /etc/apt/sources.list

The output of the command should appear similar to below:

# See
deb kali-rolling main contrib non-free
# Additional line for source packages
deb-src kali-rolling main contrib non-free

This ensures sources is properly populated.

Once verified, enter:

sudo apt update

After the updates are installed enter:

sudo apt full-upgrade -y

Once the upgrade is complete, reboot.

That’s it, you should be up and running.

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