Kicksecure Operating System Live ISO, Kicksecure-Host Installer

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Kicksecure will be a complete Operating System. More developers still wanted!

Not available for users yet. Users can either distro-morph Debian into Kicksecure or use Kicksecure in a virtual machine (VM) instead, which are available for most major operating systems. If you're looking for Live Mode, see Live Mode

  • Help wanted! : A Kicksecure Operating System Live ISO and Kicksecure Installer is currently in development. More developers are still wanted!
  • Not available for users yet : There is no ETA (estimated time of arrival) yet. Users should choose another option instead.
  • Live Mode : Looking for Kicksecure Live Mode? It's already available, see Live Mode.

notice This is a pre-release. (What does that mean?)

Download, Try, Install[edit]

Please follow these steps to install Kicksecure Xfce.

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Download Kicksecure Xfce ISO

Developers only! Warning: This is for developers-only!

Optional: Digital signature verification.


  • Digital signatures: A tool enhancing download security. Commonly used across the internet.
  • Learn more: Curious? Learn more about digital software signatures.
  • Optional: Digital signatures are optional. If you've never used them before, there might be no need to start now.
  • No worries: New to digital software signatures? It's okay, no need to worry.
  • Not a requirement: Not mandatory for using Kicksecure, but an extra security measure for advanced users.

How to verify the Kicksecure Images : Kicksecure virtual machine images are signed by Kicksecure developer Patrick Schleizer using OpenPGP and signify.

Do you already how to perform digital software verification using an OpenPGP and/or signify key?

Write the ISO to USB or DVD

This procedure will be similar for any Linux distribution providing an ISO based installer. The procedure is unspecific to Kicksecure.

Developers only! Warning: This procedure will overwrite all data on the selected device, be careful!

1. Choose your host operating system.


2. Download KDE ISO Image Writer

Optional: Checksum verification.

KDE ISO Image Writer

sha256: 467aefa7a893b323932c858c8bc6f3b6574c8d6f830e48e140d13941787393c6

See also: Download Security

3. Execute the ISO Image Writer Installer to install the program.

4. Execute the ISO Image Writer program.

5. On the Image field, insert the Kicksecure Xfce ISO path or click on the folder icon to use the file manager to locate the ISO. On the USB device field, select your drive to be flashed. Click on Write when finished.

Figure: KDE ISO Image Writer writing the ISO to USB

KDE ISO Image Writer writing the ISO to USB


2. Download USBImager based on your CPU architecture (choose one):

3. Extract the ZIP archive to /Applications.

4. Run the USBImager application.

5. On the first row, insert the Kicksecure Xfce ISO path or click on ... to use a file manager to locate the ISO. On the third row, select your drive to be flashed. On the second row, click on Write when finished.


2. Install GNOME Disks.

The utility is pre-installed in GNOME desktop environment. Otherwise it can be installed on most if not all Linux distributions.

Select your Linux distribution.


In Ubuntu, package is named gnome-disk-utility.

Command Line

Install gnome-disk-utility. To accomplish that, the following steps A. to D. need to be done.

A. Update the package lists.

sudo apt update

B. Upgrade the system.

sudo apt full-upgrade

C. Install the gnome-disk-utility package.

Using apt command line parameter --no-install-recommends is in most cases optional.

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends gnome-disk-utility

D. Done.

The procedure of installing gnome-disk-utility is complete.

Software Center

Similar to the following.

NOTE: Replace VirtualBox with GNOME Disks in the following instructions.

Ubuntu Software Center can be used to install VirtualBox. The process is similar to installation of most other applications.

This only works for users with computers that do not have "SecureBoot" enabled. If the user's computer is using "SecureBoot" the user need to either disable "SecureBoot" in the BIOS or use the command line based instructions. [1]

1. Open the start menu.

2. Click on the Ubuntu Software Center icon.

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center icon

Ubuntu Software icon

3. Click on the magnifying glass to search. → Type virtualbox. → Press enter. → In the search results, click on VirtualBox.

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center - Search For VirtualBox

search for virtualbox

4. Click on Install and wait.

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center Search Result

Install Virtualbox

5. Installation of VirtualBox has been completed.

When the installation has completed, the install icon changes to the uninstall icon. Do not click the uninstall button.

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center - VirtualBox has been installed

Uninstall Virtualbox

6. Click on Show Applications. → Click on Virtual Box start the VirtualBox graphical user interface (GUI).

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center #4

Show Applications

7. Done.

The procedure of installing and starting VirtualBox is complete.


In Debian, package is named gnome-disk-utility.

Install gnome-disk-utility. To accomplish that, the following steps A. to D. need to be done.

A. Update the package lists.

sudo apt update

B. Upgrade the system.

sudo apt full-upgrade

C. Install the gnome-disk-utility package.

Using apt command line parameter --no-install-recommends is in most cases optional.

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends gnome-disk-utility

D. Done.

The procedure of installing gnome-disk-utility is complete.

Other Linux

Hosts using a non-Debian operating system:

Install GNOME Disks as per the normal mechanism for your Linux distribution. No special instructions for Kicksecure are required. The installation of a GNOME Disks is unspecific to Kicksecure. Consult the documentation of your Linux distribution.

3. Launch GNOME Disks.

A) Using the start menu.

Figure: GNOME Disks Xfce Launch

GNOME Disks Xfce Launch

B) Alternatively, you could also start GNOME disks from the command line.


4. Select your device present on the right tab.

Figure: GNOME Disk Select

GNOME Disk Select

5. On the three dots menu on the top right side, click on Restore Disk Image.

Figure: GNOME Disk Restore Select

GNOME Disk Restore Select

6. Click on the field of Image to restore and navigate with your file manager to select Kicksecure ISO. After you are finished, click on Start Restoring.

Figure: GNOME Disk Restore ISO

GNOME Disk Restore ISO

7. Make sure you have selected the right device and click on Restore.

Figure: GNOME Disk Restore ISO Confirm

GNOME Disk Restore ISO Confirm

8. Wait for the flashing of the ISO to finish.

Figure: GNOME Disk Restoring

GNOME Disk Restoring

9. After flashing is completed, the Contents field will indicate ISO 9660.

Figure: GNOME Disk Finish

GNOME Disk Finish


Note: The following steps works on Unix terminals with GNU utilities.

2. Find the name of your drive, substitute every reference of My_own_drive to your own drive ID.

ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/usb-*

3. Check with lsblk to make sure that My_own_drive is not mounted (blank field under MOUNTPOINTS).

Note: Replace My_own_drive with the actual name of your device.

lsblk /dev/disk/by-id/usb-My_own_drive

4. Copy the Kicksecure ISO to My_own_drive.

Note: The path to Kicksecure-Xfce- needs to be adjusted in case the user did not download the ISO image to the home folder.

sudo cp Kicksecure-Xfce- /dev/disk/by-id/usb-My_own_drive

Click on 'Learn More' on the right side for other command-line methods.

  • Using pv.
    • Advantage: Progress meter.
    • Disadvantage: Need to become root.
    • Minor disadvantage: Need to use the shell redirection sign ">" on the command line.
    • sudo su
    • pv Kicksecure-Xfce- >/dev/disk/by-id/usb-My_own_drive
  • Using cat.
    • sudo cat Kicksecure-Xfce- >/dev/disk/by-id/usb-My_own_drive
  • Using dd.
    • Advanage: Progress meter.
    • Disadvantage: More complicated syntax.
    • sudo dd if=Kicksecure-Xfce- of=/dev/disk/by-id/usb-My_own_drive bs=4M conv=fsync oflag=direct status=progress
  • Using tee.
    • sudo tee <Kicksecure-Xfce- >/dev/disk/by-id/usb-My_own_drive

5. Ensure buffers are fully written to the device before removing it.

sudo sync


If you are using BSD, consult your operating system documentation on how to use these tools from the Terminal tab left of this tab to flash an ISO, as the utilities commands may differ (dd for example).

Boot the ISO

1. Discover out the Boot Menu key based on your machine's motherboard. Search on the internet if necessary for your specific motherboard model.

Vendor Key
Acer F12, F9, F2, Esc
Apple Option
Asus Esc
Clevo F7
Dell F12
Fujitsu F12, Esc
Huawei F12
Intel F10
Lenovo F12, Novo
Samsung Esc, F12, F2
Sony F11, Esc, F10
Toshiba F12
Others F12, Esc

2. Power off your host computer.

3. Connect the drive you just flashed to your computer.

4. Power on your computer and press several times the first possible Boot Menu key identified in step 1.

5. If the computer starts on another operating system or returns an error message, shut down the computer again and repeat step 4 for all the possible Boot Menu keys identified in step 1. If a Boot Menu with a list of devices appears, select your USB stick and press Enter.

6. If the computer starts on Kicksecure ISO, the GRUB Boot Loader will appear giving boot options. After some seconds, it will automatically boot the ISO.

Figure: Kicksecure ISO GRUB

Kicksecure ISO GRUB

7. After boot into persistent mode, you will encounter the following desktop.

Figure: Kicksecure ISO Live Setup Wizard

Kicksecure ISO Live Setup Wizard

8. You can experiment with the Live ISO without saving data persistently, before committing to install Kicksecure to hard drive (optional).

Install Kicksecure (Optional)

1. Click on the desktop icon Install to Hard drive.

Figure: ISO Install to hard drive icon

ISO Install to hard drive icon

2. Be welcomed by the Calamares Installer and select your language.

Figure: ISO Calamares Welcome

ISO Calamares Welcome

3. Choose how to partition your system.

Choose "Erase Disk" to replace the operating system on your internal hard drive. Usually no other changes required by most users.

If you do not agree with summary, press Back and choose the partition scheme again.

Figure: ISO Calamares Partition

ISO Calamares Partition

4. Notice for users of full disk encryption.

If you would like to use full disk encryption (FDE), it can be done in the Partition tab. Choose "Encrypt system".

If you choose full disk encryption and your keyboard is NOT en_US QWERTY, please press on 'Learn More' on the right side.

Encryption Versus Keyboard Layout

The Calamares installer will encrypt /boot but with English US QWERTY keyboard. This can be confusing. The user might type the password in their local keyboard layout while GRUB at boot time will be interpreting the password using English US QWERTY keyboard layout.

  • en_US QWERTY keyboards: This is a non-issue for users using US keyboards.
  • other keyboards: This issue exists.

Which workarounds are available to users? Choose one.

  • A) Use a separate English US QWERTY keyboard for password entry;
  • B) Avoid characters which are different on your local vs the English US QWERTY keyboard layout;
  • C) Use a different installation method. Using Distribution morphing it will be possible to avoid encrypted /boot by using Debian's old installer ("d-i" Debian's installer GUI (GTK based);
  • D) Not using full disk encryption. Not recommended.

Less realistic workarounds, for developers only and tickets, see footnote. [2]

5. Confirm the partition by looking at a summary of actions that will be done to your drive. If you agree, press Install to proceed with the installation.

Figure: ISO Calamares Summary

ISO Calamares Summary

6. Installation has begun. Soon you will be able to enjoy your new Kicksecure operating system.

Figure: ISO Calamares Install

ISO Calamares Install

7. Installation has been completed. Please uncheck the restart option to avoid booting to the same device again. Click Done when finished.

Figure: ISO Calamares Uncheck Restart

Calamares Uncheck Restart

8. On the Xfce Panel, click on the Applications icon and launch the Logout application.

Figure: Xfce Launch Logout

Launch Logout

9. On the Logout application, click on Shut Down.

Figure: Xfce Shutdown


Remove installation media

Please remove the USB flash drive that was used to install Kicksecure.

Boot installed Kicksecure

1. Power on the computer. If you boot from the correct device (where Kicksecure Xfce is installed), you will face the following bootloader screen. Please wait some seconds for the operating system to start. If you didn't boot with the correct device, repeat the step 3 to select the correct drive.

Figure: Installed Kicksecure GRUB

Kicksecure GRUB

2. After boot, you will encounter the login manager, you may fill the fields with the following values.

Kicksecure default admin password is: changeme

  • Default username: user
  • Default password: changeme

3. After login, the Kicksecure Setup Wizard will pop up, follow its instructions.

Figure: Installed Kicksecure Desktop Setup Wizard

ISO Installed Setup Wizard


The process of installing Kicksecure Xfce has been completed, enjoy!

Continue your journey by reading First Kicksecure Steps documentation.

Support the Future of Kicksecure

Kicksecure is made possible thanks to the donation of people like you. ❤️

Please support the Kicksecure development with a donation.

Donate to Kicksecure

Live ISO Known Issues[edit]

Minor Issues[edit]

This might be an issue while installing additional packages while running the live ISO. This will not be an issue after installing to hard drive.

Please report a bug if this breaks something for you. Adding a workaround for this would not be difficult.

sudo update-grub 
/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: failed to get canonical path of `LiveOS_rootfs'.
zsh: exit 1     sudo update-grub


  1. This is unspecific to Kicksecure. This is because during package installation of a package that requires kernel modules when "SecureBoot" is enabled, Ubuntu's dkms is prompting the user for a password to encrypt the key which will be used to enroll the kernel module signing key. This is Ubuntu usability issue. It is unknown if any bug report / feature request for this exists. Please contribute, research, report this issue on Ubuntu's issue tracker.
  2. Less realistic workarounds:
    • F) Workaround the bug by patching Kicksecure Calamares installer to use unencrypted /boot;
    • G) Fix the GRUB bug.


Kicksecure ISO wiki page Copyright (C) Amnesia <amnesia at boum dot org>
Kicksecure ISO wiki page Copyright (C) 2012 - 2024 ENCRYPTED SUPPORT LP <

This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details see the wiki source code.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions; see the wiki source code for details.

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