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Kali Linux Adds VM-like Snapshot Feature to Bare-metal Installs

Kali Linux Adds VM-like Snapshot Feature to Bare-metal Installs

Offensive Security has announced its implementation of a file system snapshot in Kali Linux, a feature designed to add VM-like snapshotting to bare-metal installs.

The new feature, dubbed Kali Unkaputtbar, is available to users running Kali Linux version 2022.1 or newer on bare-metal, with btrfs as the file system.

Unkaputtbar adds a new boot menu that allows Kali Linux users to boot directly into snapshots to roll back to previous system states.

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After enabling automatic snapshotting on their system, the new feature provides users with:

  • automatic snapshots with APT installations or removals
  • automatic snapshots on every boot
  • automatically created Kali Linux specific btrfs subvolume layout
  • new boot menu allowing you to boot into snapshots
  • ability to browse the file content of snapshots and copy files across
  • perform diffs between snapshots and restore individual files

“This provides VM like snapshots to bare metal, but even better as the system does it all for you,” the Kali Linux developers said.

Kali Unkaputtable snapshots
Kali Unkaputtbar snapshots (Offensive Security)

How to use Kali Unkaputtbar

The new feature automatically creates snapshots before and after installing new software using “apt install,” after upgrades, and on every boot.

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“Let’s assume that the last upgrade broke our machine. Every run of ‘apt install’ creates to snapshots, one ‘pre’ snapshot is created before the installation and one ‘post’ snapshot is created after the installation,” the Offensive Security team explains.

To undo the last changes and fully recover from an unbootable system, you need to load the last ‘pre’ snapshot to check if everything is working OK and then roll back to that snapshot using this step-by-step procedure.

To give Unkaputtbar a spin, you have to download the latest Kali Linux image from here and enable automatic snapshots.

You can find detailed info on installing Kali Linux with snapshotting functionality on the distro’s documentation site.

The development team also provides Kali Unkaputtbar usage instructions, including creating and editing snapper configurations, creating and managing snapshots, and browsing snapshot contents.



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