Related to this meta question.

Probably the most common Kali Linux question is "I'm running Kali in a VM. Why doesn't my wireless adapter act wireless?" Would it be worthwhile to have a canonical question-and-answer pair that we can close these as duplicates of, rather than closing them as duplicates of Why is Kali Linux so hard to set up?

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    one possibility
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Mar 7, 2019 at 20:37
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    That would be a good Q/A even if it wasn't specifically about Kali (there's nothing about Kali that makes this special I think). The fact that a VM could probably "piggy back" on the host system's network access (regardless of what this is) would be good to know for more than Kali users. I have not searched for this to see if one already exists.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Mar 7, 2019 at 20:40
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    I mention it briefly in point 8 of my answer in Why kali.... Mar 7, 2019 at 20:50

2 Answers 2



It would be nice if we had a positive resource to point people at, that showed an alternative to installing Kali on bare metal. I think installing Kali on bare metal tends to give users the wrong idea. And then we get questions about e.g. botched updates and broken sound output (!) for Kali; lots of questions that we're not really interested in. (Either to answer it, or to solicit enough clarification to make a "good question", that includes enough specific details).

However, on this site it would be limited, because the most relevant approach is off-topic. If someone is starting from a Windows 10 PC, and is interested in trying Kali? "Step 1: install Ubuntu" is not what they asked for. "Step 1: Virtualization on Windows" is off-topic for this site. (I do not want to see this fudged by describing VirtualBox on Linux, and just hoping that using VirtualBox on Linux works exactly the same :-).

I guess one workaround is people were willing to provide that resource on superuser.com. Then answers here - like the general Kali one - could funnel people towards that.

The question Rui points to, has a Youtube link that covers Virtualbox on Windows, USB pass-through, and a supported USB device. I'm glad that's there, but we're relying on a video link, and the link is inside a comment, not a real answer. The sole and upvoted answer on that question seems to overlook the implications of Kali Linux + USB wi-fi, and recommends disabling USB pass-through.

Of course this all assumes someone steps forward to write it up :-). In that spirit, thanks to Rui for writing the "Kali Unofficial FAQ". It is an impressive effort.


I am not quite sure the problem of dealing directly/doing passthrough of USB Wifi dongles is quite specific to Kali, it affects any kind of VM; nonetheless, we do indeed get a lot of Kali questions on trying to use external WiFi devices on Kali VMs.

However, in Kali, OPs are more interested in using a specific external WiFi chipset for hacking, and those questions stem from that want.

Then there are the multiple questions about the specific chipsets, not understanding that all brands of WiFI are not capable of monitoring, and even less brands do packet injection.

So if such question is opened for Kali, it has to take in consideration several angles, and it might not be a complete answer of a question on it's own.

TLDR Such question might be useful per se for the kind of OPs that do not distinguish between having a real and a virtualised machine, but I would not restrict it to the Kali tag. It might be useful leaving it open for any kind of Unix/Linux VMs.


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