NetHunter Rootless -- Official Kali NetHunter for non rooted phones

Mobile phones are very portable and useful. Hackers dream device is mobile phone with Kali Linux installed. Kali Linux NetHunter project is a Open Source Android penetration testing platform for Nexus and One Plus devices. By using NetHunter we can install Kali Linux on supported Android smartphone, but there are some unofficial tutorial to install NetHunter on any phone with/without root our Android device. Now we can install Kali Linux NetHunter rootless on any non-rooted Android smartphone officially this is made by Re4son.

Nethunter Rootless
Nethunter Rootless -- NetHunter for non rooted devices with KeX support


  • Android device (Stock unmodified device, no root or custom recovery required).
  • Decent Internet connection.


  • First we install the NetHunter store app from
  • From the NetHunter store , we need to install 'Termux', 'NetHunter-KeX client' and 'Hacker's keyboard'. (The button “install” may not change to “installed” in the store client after installation - just ignore it and Starting termux for the first time may seem stuck while displaying “installing” on some devices - just hit enter.)
  • Open Termux application and type following commands one by one:

pkg install wget
wget -O install-nethunter-termux
chmod +x install-nethunter-termux 

How to use:

We need to open Termux app and type one of the following:

nethunterstart Kali NetHunter command line interface
nethunter kex passwdConfigure the KeX password (only needed before 1st use)
nethunter kex &

start Kali NetHunter Desktop Experience
nethunter kex stopstop Kali NetHunter Desktop Experience

  • The nethunter command can be abbreviated to nh.
  • If we run kex in in the background (&) without having set a password, bring it back to the foreground first when prompted to enter the password, that is via fg <job id> - we can later send it to the background again via Ctrl+z and bg <job id>
  • To use KeX, start the KeX client, enter our password and click connect.
  • For a better viewing experiance, enter a custom resolution under "Advanced Settings" in the KeX client.


  1. Run apt update && apt full-upgrade command thing after installation. If we have enough storage space available we can run apt install kali-linux-full as well.
  2. Firefox doesn't work on unrooted devices. We can remove it and install Chromium via those commands, apt remove firefox-esr and apt install chromium. Then find "Chromium Web Browser" item in application menu right click and select "Edit Application" then change the command to /usr/bin/chromium --no-sandbox %U
  3. All of the penetration testing tools are working but some of them might have restrictions because of non-rooted device. For example metasploit works fine but doesn't have database support.
  4. Some utilities like "top" can't be run in unrooted Android.
  5. We can perfrom a regular backups of out rootfs by stopping all nethunter sessions and typing following command in termux session:

tar -cjf kali-arm64.tar.xz kali-arm64 && mv kali-arm64.tar.xz
On older devices, change "arm64" to "armhf".

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NetHunter Rootless -- Official Kali NetHunter for non rooted phones NetHunter Rootless -- Official Kali NetHunter for non rooted phones Reviewed by Kali Linux on December 26, 2019 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Nethunter commands doesn't work with me and i tried to set by
    Nethunter kex passwd
    It says ./vnconnections not available i dont know what to do


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