From charlesreid1

Creating a Live Kali Linux USB stick. Also see Ubuntu Live USB

Flash Image Onto USB Stick

Version 1

To put a Kali Linux iso onto a USB drive...

First, download the iso file for the right distribution. Put the iso on a computer with Linux. Plug the jump drive into the Linux computer with the iso file.

From the Linux computer, run the following command:

dd if=kali-linux-1.0.9a-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=512k

Make sure you know which /dev/sdX is your jump drive, and which is your hard drive! You can list your disk partitions with the command:

fdisk -l

The dd command will put the iso onto the jump drive:

root@mars:/iso/kali-linux-1.1.0a-i386# dd if=kali-linux-1.1.0a-i386.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=512k
6058+1 records in
6058+1 records out
3176333312 bytes (3.2 GB) copied, 542.667 s, 5.9 MB/s

took about 15 minutes.

Version 2

Following instructions here:

After downloading the iso, check to make sure it's legit:

$ cat kali-linux-1.1.0a-amd64.txt.sha1sum && openssl sha1 kali-linux-1.1.0a-amd64.iso
2b8d2db20e2709c5e9e0f9f9bbd8606c9b9e729f  kali-linux-1.1.0a-amd64.iso
SHA1(kali-linux-1.1.0a-amd64.iso)= 2b8d2db20e2709c5e9e0f9f9bbd8606c9b9e729f

I ran this command once without the USB drive plugged in, and once with the USB plugged in:

$ diskutil list

I found my disk at /dev/disk2. I unmounted it with

$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2

Then I formatted the USB drive with:

$ sudo dd if=kali-linux-1.1.0a-amd64.iso of=/dev/disk2 bs=1m

Give it a good 20 minutes or so...

2921+1 records in
2921+1 records out
3063349248 bytes transferred in 762.810003 secs (4015875 bytes/sec)

And that's all folks, now the USB drive is bootable.

Boot from USB Stick

From Mac

To boot from the Live USB into Kali Linux on a Mac laptop, see the Kali/Dual_Boot_OS_X#Booting_Into_Kali page.