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Where do I start in creating a Computer Lab to Learn how to Hack or How to Program ?   Those that have went to College, know pretty well that there are always some sort of a "Lab" to study or learn in.

But what about creating a Lab at home ?

We're going to start with the basics.

Is your Laptop or Desktop capable and ready to run a Virtual Lab ?

For these instructions, I will focus on a Windows OS on your Laptop.


  1. First, you need to enable hardware virtualization features on your CPU (Central Processor Unit). The majority of modern processors support hardware virtualization. As you turn on your system, press F2 to boot into the BIOS.  In the BIOS is an area that allows you to select for CPU Virtualization.  Please ensure that this is turned on before continuing.

  2. A Quad Core CPU
  3. Minimum of 4 gig of RAM (the more the merrier by the way as this can limit you on how many VMs you can run on your system at the same time) It is suggested to have 8gb or 16gb of RAM available.  If you have more, then that is better.

  4. Hard Disk Space.  Make sure you have adequate HD space to install the Virtualization software as well as VMs.  Each VM can take from 10gb to 30gb, so make sure you have enough HD Space.  If you need more space, you can get an external 2 TB HD rather reasonably that will connect to your USB port.  Just remember that these external drives may slow you down.  So it is best to have the HD space on your Laptop/Desktop's system.  HD space can be traditional HD or SSD.

  5. Download Oracle Virtual Box from here: 

  6. Install Virtualbox.
    There is a great tutorial on how to install and use Virtual Box located at:  OR at :

  7. For a "Learning to Hack" lab, Download Kali Linux as an ISO from   
    On the Kali download site, this might get a little confusing to the new person.  Bare Metal would be an ISO that will build Kali in your VM and be the most compatible with your environment. So this is suggested. As you see from the various choices,  this has the most check marks for compatibility.

  8. For a "Learning to Program" lab,  it is suggested to download Ubuntu from
    It is suggested to download the Server version as it may contain more of the items you will need. (Python, Java, C, C++, etc. plus Apache HTTP and/or Apache Tomcat server)

Once you have installed Virtual Box, then Kali Linux and/or Ubuntu, we can now move on to the other articles.   These articles will help you decide the type of Virtual Machines you want to download to begin your "Learning to Hack"





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