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An attempt at a Packer template to build an HVM Kali AMI that is identical to a Kali install using the official ISO. Newest release has been updated for kali-rolling, check previous release(s) for kali-2.0.


  • Packer
  • AWS account

About the AMI

First we start with an official Debian 64 HVM AMI ami-f0e7d19a.

Next we replace the default Debian repos with the official Kali repos.

Then we install the standard Kali packages you find on the official ISO.

Lastly, we take care of some minor cleanup and housekeeping.

The result (for Kali 1.7) is this public AMI - ami-c45a71ac


This template creates a us-east-1 AMI by default. If want to build an AMI in a different region you can edit the following lines in kali.json according to the available list here:

"region": "us-east-1",
"source_ami": "ami-e0efab88"

How to use

Configure the variables in the kali.json template to match your needs. The first 4 MUST be changed if you want things to work.

"aws_access_key": "YOUR-ACCESS-KEY-HERE",
"aws_secret_key": "YOUR-SECRET-KEY-HERE",
"subnet_id": "YOUR-SUBNET-ID-HERE",
"security_group_id": "YOUR-SECURITY-GROUP-ID-HERE",

Run packer to create the AMI: packer build kali.json

You now have a fully updated HVM Kali-rolling AMI available in your AWS EC2 account. Create an instance with the AMI and SSH in with user admin.


Or, if you trust us, you can use the public AMI we created with this repo: - ami-c45a71ac (NOTE, this is old Kali 1.7)


You're free to use this code however you want but I'm not responsible for anything that happens as a result. Please see the license for more details.