How To: Boot Multiple Operating Systems on the Raspberry Pi with BerryBoot
There are many reasons why a hacker may want to pick from a variety of operating systems when planning an action. Different operating systems come with different community support and tools, and traditionally, a virtual machine is used to test or use different operating systems. The Raspberry Pi can support a broad number of operating systems besides Raspbian, including Kali Linux, Black Arch Linux, Parrot OS, and other pen-testing distros.
Thanks to an open-source project to develop BerryBoot images, there is now a growing collection of security auditing images for the Pi that can be added to a USB stick. Today, we will go over how to set up BerryBoot on an SD card, but I’ll provide a follow-up tutorial on how to do so with a USB stick preloaded with a custom Null Byte image of offensive security distros and deliberately vulnerable test images.
- Raspberry Pi (BerryBoot will run on the Pi 2 , 3, Zero, and Zero W)
- 32 to 64 GB SD card (although I’ve done it with a 16 GB one, too)
- power source and HDMI connection
- USB keyboard/mouse interface
- laptop to load files on the SD card
- SD card adapter
- files from Berry Terminal
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Thanks to BerryTerminal, you can download the following BerryBoot files at the links below.
- BerryBoot for the original Raspberry Pi, Pi Zero, Pi 2, and Pi 3 (53 MB)
- BerryBoot for the quad-core Raspberry Pi 2, and Pi 3 only (36 MB)
Download the ZIP file, and insert the SD card you intend to use into your computer using an SD card adapter. You’ll need to format it to FAT32. You can do this with Disk Utility on a Mac. Select the inserted SD card, hit “Erase,” and for the file format, select “MS-DOS FAT,” and click “Erase” again.
On Windows, you can format an external hard drive to FAT 32 by using DOS. Press Win+R, type cmd in the search box. It will display you the command prompt. Input the syntax format /FS:FAT32 F: at the prompt if F is the drive letter of your external hard drive. Hit enter and the task will run.
Once the process is complete, unzip the BerryBoot ZIP you downloaded and move the contents of the folder you extracted to the newly erased SD card. Eject the SD card and put it into your Pi.
These initial files will boot the Pi for the first time and set configuration settings on the first run. Once the first run is complete, you will have the option of downloading different OS images from a wired or wireless internet connection.
On your first run, you will see a rainbow for a few seconds. Don’t panic! After hanging for a moment, BerryBoot will start up and ask some basic configuration questions about your system. Once these variables are set, BerryBoot will start.
After the configuration has been set, you’ll be able to select which drive you’d like to install the operating system to. For now, select the SD card, as whatever device you choose to boot from will need to be plugged in each time you boot the Pi for it to work. Once you select the SD card, leave the default setting of ext4 and click “Format.”
Now you’re ready to select the operating systems you want to load. For now, select “Kali Lite” and make sure you’re connected to the internet. The “connection” bar at the bottom will show you what network you’re connected to. Click “OK” to begin downloading the selected OS.
The download can take a long time on a slow connection. Once it’s finished, you should see Kali Lite in your list of installed operating systems. Exit to close the configuration window and use the OS you just downloaded.
Step 4: Boot Your Installed OS
After initially booting to BerryBoot, Kali Linux will be auto-selected as the OS to boot. Once a quick timeout completes, you’ll boot into Kali Linux on your Pi! The default credentials for logging in are root and toor, as always.
You can now download other operating systems onto your BerryBoot SD card to easily swap between systems when needed.