Volatility, also recognized as a versatile memory forensics framework, is an open-source tool invaluable for digital forensics investigations and memory analysis. When integrated with Kali Linux, the premier operating system for penetration testing and forensic analysis, Volatility emerges as a crucial asset for extracting valuable information from volatile memory dumps. In this article, we'll delve into Volatility's capabilities, provide guidelines for its installation on Kali Linux, and outline efficient utilization techniques for memory analysis in digital forensics.

Volatility is a powerful framework for analysing volatile memory (RAM) of computer systems. Its main goal is to extract valuable information from RAM dumps, making it an important tool for digital forensic analysis and security incident research.


  1. Extracting information from volatility memory: Volatility allows you to analyse the contents of RAM, extracting information about running processes, open network connections, loaded drivers, active user sessions and more.
  2. Process and thread analysis: The framework allows you to analyse processes running on the operating system, including their attributes, memory, files and network activity. This allows you to identify suspicious or malicious processes.
  3. Working with file systems: Volatility supports file system analysis by providing the ability to view open files, directories and file system structures. This is useful for examining file activity on a system.
  4. Metadata extraction: The framework allows you to extract metadata from volatile memory, such as timestamps associated with processes, files, and network connections. This can help in reconstructing time lines and analysing the dynamics of events.
  5. Support for different operating systems: Volatility supports multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux, macOS and others. This makes it a versatile tool for memory analysis on different platforms.
  6. Support for various memory dump formats: The framework supports various memory dump formats, including popular formats such as raw, crash, hibernation, and others.
  7. Extensibility and flexibility: Volatility provides API and plugin mechanisms that allow you to extend its functionality and customise it to meet the specific needs of the researcher. This makes it a powerful and flexible tool for analysing volatile memory.


Volatility is not available directly from the official Kali Linux repositories. Instead, you'll need to download it from the official Volatility GitHub repository. You can do this by cloning the repository using Git. Run the following commands:


Change your current directory to the Volatility directory that you just cloned:


Depending on your system setup, you may need to install additional dependencies for Volatility to work properly. You can install these dependencies using the following command:


Once you have the Volatility repository cloned and the dependencies installed, you can set up Volatility by running the following command:


After installation, you can verify that Volatility is installed correctly by running:



Collect Memory Dump: First, you need to have a memory dump file (also known as a memory image) from the system you want to analyze. This memory dump contains the contents of the system's RAM at a specific point in time.

Navigate to Volatility Directory: Open a terminal and navigate to the directory where you installed Volatility or where you cloned the Volatility repository. For example:


List Available Plugins: To see a list of available plugins that you can use with Volatility, run the following command:


Run Volatility Plugin: Choose the appropriate plugin based on the information you want to extract from the memory dump. For example, if you want to list running processes, you can use the pslist plugin. The basic syntax to run a plugin is:


Replace<path_to_memory_dump> with the path to your memory dump file and <plugin_name> with the name of the plugin you want to run. For example:


Explore Output: After running the plugin, Volatility will display the output directly in the terminal. You can explore the output to gather information about the system's running processes, network connections, loaded modules, and more.


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