Here’s an abbreviated tutorial for getting Kali Linux (1.0ish) running on a Cubieboard. (In case you’re wondering, Kali is the successor to BackTrack.) I use Berryboot as the bootloader, which allows us to multiboot and use compressed file systems (>50% compression, saving ~2 GB for a full install of Kali), and also makes it easy to swap around and play with different operating systems.
Installing the quick and dirty way
Do step 1 below.
Download one of these:
- kali-on-cubie.img (Kali for Raspberry Pi/armel modified for Cubie – 1.8 GB)
- kali-mini-armhf-cubie.img (Kali armhf, minimal build – 341 MB)
Now skip to step 10 below.
Installing the dirtier way
What you’ll need: a USB flash drive (~4 GB), Debian/Ubuntu Linux (e.g. Kali on VMware works great).
- Begin by installing Berryboot onto a microSD card. The easiest way is to empty the microSD slot, boot into the built-in Android system on the Cubieboard NAND, download the Berryboot APK, and follow the instructions.
- Install some tools on your Linux box:
apt-get -y install squashfs-tools kpartx
- Now we need to build a squashfs image of the rootfs that Berryboot can boot form. We’ll do this the easy way: by modifying the Kali Raspberry Pi image. Download the image onto your Linux box (you do have a Linux box, don’t you?):
curl -O "http://cdimage.kali.org/kali-images/kali-linux-1.0-armel-raspberrypi.img.gz"
- Unzip the Kali Raspberry Pi image:
- Mount the image:
kpartx -av kali-linux-1.0-armel-raspberrypi.img mount /dev/mapper/loop0p2 /mnt
- Modify the mount point:
sed -i 's/^\/dev\/mmcblk/#\0/g' /mnt/etc/fstab
- We need to configure the kernel modules that will be loaded. Note that Berryboot ships its own kernel modules, so we don’t need the actual blobs themselves. Create or overwrite these files (these are borrowed from the Cubieboard hwpack):
# /etc/modules: kernel modules to load at boot time. # # This file contains the names of kernel modules that should be loaded # at boot time, one per line. Lines beginning with "#" are ignored. #For SATA Support sw_ahci_platform #Display and GPU lcd hdmi ump disp mali mali_drm 8192cu
# Workaround for dropping connections because power save options 8192cu rtw_power_mgnt=0 rtw_enusbss=0
- Now we need to package up the rootfs we customized into a squashfs image:
mksquashfs /mnt ~/kali-on-cubie.img -comp lzo -e lib/modules
- Clean up:
umount /mnt kpartx -d kali-linux-1.0-armel-raspberrypi.img
- Now we need to get the image onto the microSD card so that Berryboot can use it. Copy your new image (kali-on-cubie.img) to a USB flash drive.
- Boot your Cubieboard with Berryboot (i.e. the microSD card inserted). Click “Edit Menu”. Click (and hold) “Add OS”, and you’ll get a dropdown menu; select “Install from USB stick”, and choose the kali-on-cubie.img we just created.
- Close the menu editor. Boot Kali.
- Eat cake to celebrate.
Installing the unicycle caving way
Instead of using the prebuilt ARM image for Raspberry Pi, we’ll build the rootfs “from scratch” (kind of). This lets us use the armhf architecture, which Google tells me is better than armel (Cubieboard has a more modern processor that supports the faster armhf instructions, whereas Raspberry Pi only supports armel). Also, we can customize the image, leaving out packages which we might not need in a memory/storage constrained environment.
Basically, all we need to do is to build the rootfs following the instructions that are conveniently laid out in the Kali docs. For posterity, I preserve the scripts below.
After building the rootfs, we resume at step 6 above, of course substituting the actual path of our new rootfs for /mnt (which is the path of the rootfs that would have been mounted from the prebuilt image).
apt-get install debootstrap qemu-user-static # define which packages you want here. If you want everything, add "kali-linux-full". See also this kali.list.chroot for ideas. export packages="xfce4 kali-menu wpasupplicant kali-defaults initramfs-tools uboot-mkimage nmap openssh-server" export architecture="armhf" cd ~ mkdir -p arm-stuff cd arm-stuff/ mkdir -p kernel mkdir -p rootfs cd rootfs debootstrap --foreign --arch $architecture kali kali-$architecture http://archive.kali.org/kali cp /usr/bin/qemu-arm-static kali-$architecture/usr/bin/ cd ~/arm-stuff/rootfs LANG=C chroot kali-$architecture /debootstrap/debootstrap --second-stage cat << EOF > kali-$architecture/etc/apt/sources.list deb http://http.kali.org/kali kali main contrib non-free deb http://security.kali.org/kali-security kali/updates main contrib non-free EOF echo "kali" > kali-$architecture/etc/hostname cat << EOF > kali-$architecture/etc/network/interfaces auto lo iface lo inet loopback auto eth0 iface eth0 inet dhcp EOF cat << EOF > kali-$architecture/etc/resolv.conf nameserver 188.8.131.52 EOF export MALLOC_CHECK_=0 # workaround for LP: #520465 export LC_ALL=C export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive mount -t proc proc kali-$architecture/proc mount -o bind /dev/ kali-$architecture/dev/ mount -o bind /dev/pts kali-$architecture/dev/pts cat << EOF > kali-$architecture/debconf.set console-common console-data/keymap/policy select Select keymap from full list console-common console-data/keymap/full select en-latin1-nodeadkeys EOF cat << EOF > kali-$architecture/third-stage #!/bin/bash dpkg-divert --add --local --divert /usr/sbin/invoke-rc.d.chroot --rename /usr/sbin/invoke-rc.d cp /bin/true /usr/sbin/invoke-rc.d apt-get update apt-get install locales-all #locale-gen en_US.UTF-8 debconf-set-selections /debconf.set rm -f /debconf.set apt-get update apt-get -y install git-core binutils ca-certificates initramfs-tools uboot-mkimage apt-get -y install locales console-common less nano git echo "root:toor" | chpasswd sed -i -e 's/KERNEL\!=\"eth\*|/KERNEL\!=\"/' /lib/udev/rules.d/75-persistent-net-generator.rules rm -f /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules apt-get --yes --force-yes install $packages rm -f /usr/sbin/invoke-rc.d dpkg-divert --remove --rename /usr/sbin/invoke-rc.d rm -f /third-stage EOF chmod +x kali-$architecture/third-stage LANG=C chroot kali-$architecture /third-stage cat << EOF > kali-$architecture/cleanup #!/bin/bash rm -rf /root/.bash_history apt-get update apt-get clean rm -f cleanup EOF chmod +x kali-$architecture/cleanup LANG=C chroot kali-$architecture /cleanup umount kali-$architecture/proc umount kali-$architecture/dev/pts umount kali-$architecture/dev/ cd ..
These instructions were adapted from BerryBoot’s docs.