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1.4.1. A Live System‌

Contrary to most Linux distributions, the main ISO image that you download is not simply ded- icated to installing the operating system; it can also be used as a bootable live system. In other words, you can use Kali Linux without installing it, just by booting the ISO image (usually after having copied the image onto a USB key).

The live system contains the tools most commonly used by penetration testers so even if your day- to-day system is not Kali Linux, you can simply insert the disk or USB key and reboot to run Kali. However, keep in mind that the default configuration will not preserve changes between reboots. If you configure persistence with a USB key (see section 9.4, “Adding Persistence to the Live ISO with a USB Key” [page 240]), then you can tweak the system to your liking (modify config files, save reports, upgrade software, and install additional packages, for example), and the changes will be retained across reboots.

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