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9.3. Building Custom Kali Live ISO Images‌

Kali Linux has a ton of functionality and flexibility right out of the box. Once Kali is installed, you can perform all sorts of amazing feats with a little guidance, creativity, patience, and practice. However, you can also customize a Kali build so that it contains specific files or packages (to scale up or scale down performance and features) and can perform certain functions automatically. For example, the Kali ISO of Doom5 and the Kali Evil Wireless Access Point6 are both excellent projects that rely on a custom-built implementation of Kali Linux. Let’s take a look at the process of rolling a custom Kali Linux ISO image.

Official Kali ISO images are built with live-build7, which is a set of scripts that allows for the com- plete automation and customization of all facets of ISO image creation. The live-build suite uses an entire directory structure as input for its configuration. We store this configuration and some associated helper scripts in a live-build-config Git repository. We will use this repository as a basis for building customized images.

Before going further, you must know that the commands shown in this section are meant to be run on an up-to-date Kali Linux system. They are very likely to fail if run on a non-Kali system or if the system is out of date.


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