So after ten years, are netbooks finally cool again? In 2008 saw the zenith of this with regards to personal computing. The Netbook as terribly fashionable, as platform holders did their best to squeeze as much computing as they could into as small a space as possible.Their ubiquity has all but vanished, given how powerful our smartphones have become. The phone that you’re reading this on, or is possibly in your pocket, or in your bag is a portable computing powerhouse — but imagine if something were not too much bigger than that, that you could do actual computer work on. A ultra portable computer running the last version of Kali linux.
Early this year bought a GPD Pocket 7 a mini-PC the size of a portable video game console that sports a quad-core Intel Z8750 CPU, 8Gb DDR3 RAM, 128Gb Samsung eMMC for storage, 7000 mAh battery that manufacturer says should be good for up to 12 hous of run time, WiFi, bluetooth, HDMI port and all the things what would you want in a laptop of this size. The little computer measures just 7.1″ x 4.2″ x 0.7″ which makes it just a little larger than a big smartphone when the lid is closed. This thing looks adorable. It has the stylized Apple-style metal case rather than the more common plastic but whether you can actually fit the GPD Pocket in your pocket depends on how big your pockets are. GamePad Digital (GPD) a technology company based in Shenzen, China. Among other products, they have created several handheld video game consoles which run Android on ARM architecture and x86 Windows. And while Pocket it is not exactly cheap it is possible to find it at $499 the same price of the original GPD crowdfunding.
As is often the case with notebooks and Linux, the support shortly after hardware launch leaves much to be desired, even when the manufacturer offers its own linux and community driven support is already included in the recent versions of the Linux Kernel. Unfortunately the latest Kali need some kernel patches and workarounds to run on GPD. What people are doing meanwhile is installing ad-hoc Ubuntu or Xubuntu images (I previously wrote about) from a pendrive and then installing all the Kali tools they need via scripts like Katoolin (https://github.com/LionSec/katoolin) which will effectively convert almost any debian-based distro into a (more-or-less) fully-fledged Kali platform.
And so it was until Re4son , a well respected hacker know for Raspberry Pi pentest oriented Linux builds, took things into his hands. Re4son has released Pocket-Kali a custom Kali Linux images for the GPD Pocket, including the lastest Kali 2018.2.
Now installing Kali in the GPD is just as easy as in a vanilla PC. These are the steps you should follow:
Download the latest ISO image from here:
Write the image to a USB drive (DD, Rufus, Win32DiskImager, ..)
Insert the stick into your GPD pocket, turn on and press F7 until boot menu pops up
Select boot from USB stick
In the Kali menu, select “Kali Live” and boot into desktop
There are two ways to install:
1. The comfortable way with proper screen orientation but no encryption support
– select “Live (forensic mode)” and boot into desktop
– in Kali, run the debian-installer (if you booted into normal live mode, run GParted and unmount disks first)
2. The 90 degree way – use this if you want to install kali in an encrypted volume
– select “Install”
– tilt your head 90 degrees
Now you have to choose if you prefer to delete everything and install only Kali Linux or resize Windows and have both.
The Pocket-Kali image comes with only “top10” & “wireless” set of Kali tools to keep the size down. Just run “kali-linux-full” to get the whole shebang.
If you choose to install Kali alongside with Windows 10 keep in mind that it is possible that after the installation Windows option do not appear in the boot grub menu. The solution is as easy as running “grub-update” from a root console and restarting the system.
After some testing of Kali-Pi current Version: 4.18-rc5-re4son+_1 i have managed to get Kali up and running on the GPD pocket and everything works fine the fan, Wake/Sleep, WiFi/Bluetooth, proper screen rotation, graphics and audio.
Remember that the mini GPD does not have an Ethernet port, but that something easily solved with one USB-C gigabit ethernet adapters.
Thanks to its size and Kali Linux the GPD becomes an all around device for the Pen-testing on the go. Couple it with some external devices such as high power wifi/bluetooth or SDR radio receiver to turn it into the ultimate portable wardriving machine.