Kali Linux 2020 Restart Issues


I am a new student here at StationX, so forgive me if I am not posting this in the right place. This is also my first forum that I have ever joined.

I have installed and updated Kali Linux 2020.2 on my PC running Windows 10 Pro edition. I can get Kali to load and it works fine until I power down the machine (in VirtualBox 6.1). When I try to restart Kali it just freezes on the logo screen. I have waited several minutes (maybe 15) and it still does not load. I noticed that if I reboot windows Kali will boot just fine with no load issues.

Anyone else having this problem?

Once again, I apologize if this is not the right place to be posting this thread.

Thank you for taking the time to help me!

When you check the VM in the VirtualBox GUI, does the VM shows as stopped, or is it running?

I ask because that behavior sounds like the VM could be getting stuck during shutdown - that a process run during a normal shutdown process is hanging. When you open the VM again, it would show you the machine in that hung state, unresponsive.

When it gets like that, try closing the window and telling VirtualBox to power the VM off (either through the dialog that comes up or by right-clicking the VM in the list in the VirtualBox GUI). If the VM starts successfully after that, then it’s a problem in the shutdown process. If that is the case, check logs like /var/log/syslog to see if there’s an error message present that suggests what’s going wrong when you shut the machine down normally.

I had a similar thing happen to me when I tried to install Debian Buster (Kali Linux is based on Debian of course).

My host OS is Windows 10 Home edition and I also use Virtualbox 6.1.

I tried installing a pre-made virtual image and because it didn’t work the first couple of times, I tried installing it without booting the virtual image like it was just a regular virtual disc. And this worked just fine until I closed the virtual machine and tried to reboot it. When I tried this, it froze on some kind of terminal without any text in it, just a “_”. I do not remember if it would work after I rebooted the host OS, but so far the problem part looks quite similar.

If you made the same mistake I did, this is how I solved it:
I deleted everything of the existing Debian VM.
I booted the actual virtual image and installed it from the desktop.
Now I am enjoying life knowing that Debian works just fine.

I hope that is a solution to you or anyone else reading this. And if not, you can just laugh at me being stupid :upside_down_face:

Hi Jered,
Thank you for your assistance!

When I go to boot Kali the machine state shows as “Powered Off” in Virtualbox.
The shutdown process seems ok I think. Kali shuts down, the windows closes, and VirtualBox shows Kali as “Powered Off”.

The next time I try to open Kali, VirtualBox shows Kali as “Running” but like always, is frozen on startup at the Kali logo screen.

When I have to force Quit Kali, VirtualBox shows as “Aborted” which leads to to restart my PC and load Kali again with no issues.

When Kali gets hung up in the Start up process I cannot use the VirtualBox GUI as it is unresponsive.
No right clicking the VM or closing VirtualBox.

Hi Wesley,
Thank you for your help as well!

I am not too familiar with VirtualBox so I am unfamiliar on how to boot the virtual image and install it from the desktop. I will look into this process though and see if it helps my situation.

Thank You!

This isn’t a problem I’ve seen before, interesting. Did you install Kali to the VM using an installer ISO, or did you use a prebuilt image as the disk for the VM?

I can offer some general things to try, in case any of them wind up fixing it:

If you have antivirus software running, disable it and try again.

Go to the VM’s settings, and in the System section change the Chipset value to something else. Maybe another setting there would work better.

After trying that with no success, go to the Display settings and change the Graphics Controller setting to see if that makes any difference.

If you haven’t done so already, try installing the Guest Additions by selecting the option to insert the CD in the Devices menu for the VM.

If all that fails, try downgrading to the current version of VirtualBox 6.0. It’s possible this is the result of a bug that was introduced in 6.1.

If you are using a virtual image, upon launching you will have a choice whether you would like to run the prebuilt system, to install or graphic install and some other options.
If you are not using a virtual image but a virtual disk, you will not get the option to run a prebuilt version as there is none on the file you’re using.
I am far from an expert on this matter as well, so if my terminology is wrong I am sorry, but this is my understanding on the subject so far.

Anyways best of luck to you, Cyb3rStud3nt!

OK guys,

I am such an idiot lol…

After trying everything that both of you recommended, after uninstalling, reinstalling, and trying every possible configuration, preference, option, and start-up option, it was still a fail.

It was when I was using my admin account that I realized something. When Kali would freeze I would have to use the task manager to force quit VirtualBox and Kali. Upon launching task manager a pop-up appears asking me if I want to run task manager (because of the security settings I have on Windows 10). When task manager launches the screen flickers black (for lack of a better description), and then Kali would run! (For some reason running task manager in my other user account would not do this screen flicker.) Because of this, I realized that this issue might have something to do with the monitor driver, or the graphics driver.

So guys, after wasting 3 days of your time and mine, it turns out that this whole issue was solved by a driver update for my graphics card! OMG, I’m an idiot lol…

I want to apologize to you @Jered, and @Wesley for this. Thank you for your help and I appreciate the time you both took to try to solve my problem.

Thank you both again,
Be Well,

Side Note: Do either of you know Wireshark at all? Specifically about colors and fonts? I can’t read any of the text in Wireshark (it’s like grey on white) and I tried changing these in the preferences menu but I still can’t read anything…

Never mind. The problem came back after a few hours lol…
I now know that I can get around the problem by right clicking on VirtualBox, then selecting the Run as Admin option which pops up the User Account Control window asking me if I want to allow this app to make changes to my device. I say No which cancels the request which allows Kali to “unfreeze” and load with no issues.

Huh. That’s a weird one. I’m glad you found a workaround, but I do wonder about the root cause. If you disable UAC, does the problem go away, or does it simply prevent you from using that workaround?

On Wireshark, try one of the color rulesets here:


Trying to help other people is never a waste of time. However, unless something changes, I don’t think I’ll be much of a help to you any further as I simply do not have the knowledge.
Good luck with your VirtualBox issues, I hope Jered is able to help you resolve them.

Hey @Jered,

Thanks again for coming back. So interesting turn of events here…

After reinstalling Kali, I still have the same problem, however, I have learned that in addition to the UAC pop up (which I did try disabling with no luck) workaround to get Kali loading, I noticed that while Kali is loading if I start a video/movie etc. on my web browser (Chrome), Kali starts to load… just like it would with the UAC causing it to load with the screen flicker/dim. So strange…

I installed Kali with the ISO from their website btw.

I have been reading that Kali/Linux does not like Nvidia graphics cards?? Which is what I have, and which may be why I don’t have this problem on my laptop with the same Kali ISO and VirtualBox settings as the laptop is an AMD graphics card??

With everything that is going on I am wondering if this is an Nvidia related problem? I have used Kali in the past with this same card and never had this problem though.

Thanks again for the help!

And thank you for the wireshark link, I will look into that once I get this mess under control. Even though I have a workaround this is driving me crazy lol!!

Thanks again @Wesley!!

It certainly sounds graphics-related, given that the dimming of the screen triggers a change.

Have you tried another distribution to see if it works any better on that machine? You might try Parrot - it’s security-focused too, but it’s more oriented toward desktop use than Kali. That means more hardware support is included, which could help.

I was going to try Kali 2019 but the download link wasn’t https so I didn’t go through with it yet, even though it was through Kali’s website.

I tried Parrot a couple of years ago but shortly after I downloaded it I got stuck in a login loop if i recall correctly. I will give Parrot another shot since it has been a while. I wanted to stay with Kali because that is what the video course on StationX is using.

I’ll give you an update once I have tried Parrot again.

Thanks again!!

So, no luck on Parrot OS either. Successful install, and it works fine, however the exact same problem as when I try to load Kali. The exact same workarounds work too.

Another wireshark question:

In Parrot when I try to open wireshark through the command line I get this error:

qt.qpa.xcb: could not connect to display
qt.qpa.plugin: Could not load the Qt platform plugin “xcb” in “” even though it was found.
This application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem.

Available platform plugins are: eglfs, linuxfb, minimal, minimalegl, offscreen, vnc, wayland-egl, wayland, wayland-xcomposite-egl, wayland-xcomposite-glx, xcb.


Not too big of a deal as I can open it through the Applications drop down menu. Any ideas though?

Thanks again!

I’m really not sure what could be causing that issue you’re seeing with VirtualBox, unfortunately. I agree that it’s connected to graphics somehow, but whether that’s an issue in the VM’s kernel, VirtualBox, or your host system’s drivers, I have no idea. :frowning:

The problem you’re seeing with Wireshark comes down to the plugins’ dependencies not being resolvable when you run it from the command line. The application shortcut might be setting an environment variable when it launches.

Try running this before you run wireshark from the command line:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

If that works, then add that line to the end of the .bashrc file in your home directory so it runs every time you open a terminal.

If it doesn’t, this command should give more information on what library xcb is looking for:

ldd libqxcb.so

You may need to find where that library is in your system and add its location to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable, like in that export command above.

There’s a lengthy discussion of options on this page:

One user had some luck with this command to install a dependency:

sudo apt install libx11-xcb1

That totally worked!!!
I would have never have gotten that with my googling I don’t think.

I didn’t have to use the link you sent me (thank god because I am NOT savvy enough for that one haha).

Thank you for all of your help on everything! If you end up with another idea or thought on my restart issues please keep me in mind!

Thank You!!

Excellent, glad that did the trick!

I’ll certainly keep an eye out, on the restart issue. Might get lucky and see someone else have the same problem but find a solution to post.