Kali Linux with Desktop GUI on Azure/AWS/GCP

Install Kali Linux with XFCE4 Desktop GUI on any of the cloud platforms.  Comes pre-installed with over 2500 tools and optimised for cloud environments.

Kali Linux Cloud

Setup Kali Linux on AWS

Setup Kali Linux on Azure

Setup Kali Linux on GCP

Coming soon.

Kali Linux Azure

Deploy Kali Linux with XFCE4 Desktop GUI on Azure

Kali linux GCP

Deploy Kali Linux with XFCE4 Desktop on GCP

Kali Linux contains industry specific modifications as well as several hundred tools targeted towards various Information Security tasks, such as Penetration Testing, Security Research, Computer Forensics, Reverse Engineering, Vulnerability Management and Red Team Testing.

Kali Linux Desktop GUI

Getting Started with Kali Linux

Once your Kali Linux server has been deployed, the following links explain how to connect to a Linux VM:



Once connected and logged in, the following section explains how to start using Kali Linux.

Install Kali Linux Tools

First step is to decide which Kali Linux tools you would like setup.  To install all the Kali Linux tools from the metapackages is to run the following command

					sudo apt install --yes --force-yes kali-linux-default

Kali Linux with XFCE4 Desktop GUI

This Kali Linux image comes pre-installed with the XFCE4 desktop environment.


In order to connect you’ll need to use VNC.  Download VNC to your computer first.

Once you’ve installed VNC viewer locally, we need to login to the server via ssh first to configure the VNC server settings.  Links above explain how to connect to a linux VM in the getting started section.

Configure VNC Server

When logged in via SSH, run the following command to configure the vnc server:

					tightvncserver -geometry 1024x768

It will prompt to setup a password in order to access your secure desktop via vnc viewer.  When it asks ‘Would you like to enter a view-only password‘ select: n

Next is to locate the port that is used by tight vnc server. Run the following command:

					netstat -tulpn

And here you can see vnc server uses port 5901.

Connect to Kali Linux using VNC

Open up your VNC viewer.  Get the IP address of your newly deployed Kali Linux server and within VNC viewer add your ip address followed by the port. For example, on my test server its:

Note: Before you try to connect make sure you have port 5901 open if you’re using any cloud based firewalls or internal firewalls on your network. If you reboot Kali Linux, also note you’ll have to start the Tight VNC Server. Run the following command if you reboot the server: tightvncserver

When you try to connect it will ask for a password. Use the VNC password you created earlier. Press continue and enter your password.

Password Prompt

You should now be logged in via the desktop.

Kali Linux Desktop GUI

Change XFCE Display Settings

You’ll notice the graphics the first time you login aren’t that great. So what you can do is adjust the display settings by the following:


Click on Applications Menu / Settings / Style and change to a different style.  Once you change the style it make take a few minutes for the server to fully load and render a better display.

You’re now ready to start using Kali Linux. All applications are under the applications menu.

Kali Linux Firewall Ports

In order to connect to this Kali Linux server using VNC make sure the following port is open if you’re using any cloud based firewalls or internal network firewalls:


  • TCP 5901


Depending on which Kali tools you’re using refer to the documentation on which port it uses to confirm.


If you are using any of the cloud security groups and need to change / add ports refer to the following guides:


To setup AWS firewall rules refer to – AWS Security Groups

To setup Azure firewall rules refer to – Azure Network Security Groups

To setup Google GCP firewall rules refer to – Creating GCP Firewalls

Support / Documentation

Documentation on using Kali Linux can be found on: https://www.kali.org/docs/


Full list of Kali Tools: https://www.kali.org/tools/


Kali community support from: https://www.kali.org/community/

Disclaimer: KALI LINUX ™ is a trademark of OffSec and is licensed under GNU GPL license. No warrantee of any kind, express or implied, is included with this software. Use at your risk, responsibility for damages (if any) to anyone resulting from the use of this software rest entirely with the user.

Avatar for Andrew Fitzgerald
Andrew Fitzgerald

Cloud Solution Architect. Helping customers transform their business to the cloud. 20 years experience working in complex infrastructure environments and a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert on everything Cloud.

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