Katana: Portable Multi-Boot Security Suite

Last Updated: 11/10/2010



          - Description
          - News
          - Download
          - Installation
          - Log
          - Screen Shots
          - Linking to Katana
          - FAQ




Katana is a portable multi-boot security suite which brings together many of today's best security distributions and portable applications to run off a single Flash Drive. It includes distributions which focus on Pen-Testing, Auditing, Forensics, System Recovery, Network Analysis, and Malware Removal. Katana also comes with over 100 portable Windows applications; such as Wireshark, Metasploit, NMAP, Cain & Abel, and many more.

Twitter: #katanadrive

Katana Bootable:

- Backtrack
- the Ultimate Boot CD
- Ultimate Boot CD for Windows
- Ophcrack Live
- Puppy Linux
- Trinity Rescue Kit
- Clonezilla
- Derik's Boot and Nuke
- Kon-Boot (See boot fix here)

And instructions on installing additional Distributions can be found here.

Katana Tool Kit:

- Metasploit
- Wireshark
- John the Ripper
- Cain & Abel
- Firefox
- the Unstoppable Copier
- OllyDBG
- Cygwin
- ClamAV
- IECookiesView
- MozillaCacheView
- FreeOTFE
- FindSSN
- The Sleuth Kit
- OpenOffice
and many more.


Name: Katana v2.0
File: katana-v2.0.rar
Size: ~ 4 GB
MD5: d77f1fec607657b6d82264e8b5ca47a4

TORRENT: katana-v2.0.torrent (preferred method)


http://sourceforge.net/projects/katana-usb/files/ Current SourceForge
http://mirror.cc.vt.edu/pub/katana/ Current Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
http://mirror.ece.vt.edu/pub/katana/ Current Virginia Tech LUUG Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
http://public.acetolyne.net/katana-v2.0.rar Current



Requirments: Requires USB flash drive (or other disk) of size 8GB or larger with 4GB free space formated FAT32. Also, turn off all virus scanner before install. Many of the tools included in Katana get flagged as "hacker tools" by many Anit-Virus programs.

1. Download the Katana RAR file to the local disk.

2. Extract Katana to the root of the USB flash drive; example "E:\" (Windows) or "/mount/sdb1" (Linux). (DO NOT extract into a subdirectory on the flash drive).

3. Change directory to the freshly copied "boot" directory on the USB device. (Make sure you're in the "boot" directory on the USB device and NOT your local disk! )

4. Run the following with Administrative privileges. For Linux/OSX run ./bootinst.sh, for Windows run ./bootinst.bat

5. Make sure computer BIOS allows USB boot. Boot from flash drive. All Done!



Katana Bootable

Power down the host device. Plug in the Katana disk (flash drive) into the host device. (Make sure computer BIOS allows USB boot.) Select the USB drive from the BOIS boot menu or change the BIOS so that the USB is a higher priority than the hard disk. This is often accomplished by hiting 'F12' or 'Esc' during the boot processs.


Booting from flash drive should result in the above menu. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the distribution you wish to boot. See the documentation provided in Katana for more information on the functions of the individual distributions.

Katana Tool Kit


The Katana Tool Kit operates in a Windows environment. On the Katana drive, click on Katana Tool Kit application. This will launch the Katana Tool Kit. Scroll up and down in the menu and make a selection for the application to open. See the Katana Tool Kit documentation for more on the available applications.

Change Log

07-26-20123.0 Beta 1/2 (DefCon Release)
3.0 Beta 2/2 (DefCon Release)
10-31-20102.0 ("y0j!mb0")d77f1fec607657b6d82264e8b5ca47a4
07-29-20102.0 Pre (DefCon Release)8d14d173bafe846e7f8360c2fd09d20d
02-10-20101.5 ("Z@toichi")3d80c9e6629462779822f11752868bbe
10-31-20091.0 ("Kyuz-0")df6738eec7dce3cbaf4dfab7cc691969
05-21-20091.0 Precdb4a3638a59fd020d64653aa5523a13

Version 3.0 Beta:
- DefCon 20 exclusive release through Hackers For Charity
- Split up into 2 archived files

Version 2.0:
- Distros Added: CAINE & Kon-Boot.
- Added several new Windows tools including Metasploit, NMAP, Cain & Abel, and Cygwin.
- Added Forge for additional distro installation.

Version 2.0 Pre:
- DefCon 18 exclusive release through Hackers For Charity

Version 1.5:
- Distros Removed: OSWA Assistant, Damn Small Linux, Damn Vulnerable Linux, Slax
- Distros Added: Puppy Linux, Trinity Rescue Kit, Clonezilla, Derik's Boot and Nuke
- Added the Katana Tool Kit interface
- Added several new Windows tools including GNUWin32, Forensic Acquisition Utilities, Angry IP and The Sleuth Kit.
- Changed the personal directory from "home" to "Documents".

Version 1.0:
- Updated Ophcrack Live, Backtrack and OSWA Assistant.
- Added over 100 portable Windows Applications.
- Included addtional documentation.
- Added install and uninstall scripts for easier use.

Version 1.0 Pre:
- Beta Release.


Linking to Katana

Insert the following HTML code to add the Katana button to your website:

<a href="http://www.hackfromacave.com/"><img src="http://www.hackfromacave.com/klogo.png" border="0"></a>

It looks like this:




Why do I get disk write errors when downloading Katana?
Make sure you are downloading to a partition with over 4 Gigabytes of free space on a file system that allows for storage of files over 4 Gigabytes.


Why is Katana so big?
Katana is comprised of many distributions designed to maximize use by coming as close to the 700 MB limit of a CD as they are able. All the distributions included in Katana, excluding the 50MB Puppy, are at least 600 MB by themselves. Combining these tools with some additional applications is why Katana requires around 5s GB of space.


Installing additional Distributions to Katana
Installing additional distributions can be done using Forge.


How can I leave feedback?


Can I install Katana on my harddrive?
Yes, running the install script can install Katana on the hard disk. The current boot loader for that disk will be replaced with the syslinux boot loader. The disk must be a FAT32 filesystem.


Why can't I boot from USB?
You may need to configure yout BIOS to boot from USB. You can generaly access your computer BIOS using [F1], [F2], or [Delete]. You may need to reconfigure the Boot Order to set the USB boot at a higher priority.


Why do I get "no bootable partition in table"?
See forum link


Why can't I extract the RAR file?
See forum link


Why does my Anti-Virus flag some files in Katana?

These files are flagged because they could potentially be used for malicious purposes by the user, but they can also be very useful for forensics and general sys-admin duties. When you read their description it may become more clear why anti-virus considers them potentially dangerous. Zipped versions of many of these tools are included because I have noticed that some Anti-Virus programs (like Symatic) delete them automatically if allowed to scan the Katana drive.


Why can't I boot Kon-Boot in Katana v2.0?
See forum link