I just installed kali-linux on my VMware workstation 10. I had to check for the wireless connection in the kali-linux. I tried to check for the wireless-network connection(WiFi);but,it was incorrectly identifying the wireless-network as an Ethernet-connection(eth 0).

How can this be resolved? I just googled for it and came to know that one can't evaluate the wireless network connection in Virtual Machines.

I might sound like nerd, but, I really want to know why exactly is this so; and,if this is a short-coming of Virtual Machines; why don't the bigger giants like VMware/Oracle,etc. figure this out and correct it?

Please list the reasons along with some useful resources,if possible. Thanks for giving the time to study the whole question with patience.

2 Answers 2


That's typically not a problem. The WiFi on the host is not actually directly accessible to the VMware guests, or any VM guests using other technologies such as KVM, VirtualBox, etc.

The hardware that's present in the physical host is interacted through virtual hardware that's presented to the guest VMs through the software BIOS that the various virtualization technologies provide.

To my knowledge I've never seen any virtualization technologies that have directly exposed the WiFi included in a laptop, into the guests. I would assume this is a limitation with the BIOS'.

The other approach that you could try would be to utilize a USB based WiFi Adapter that may allow for access to the WiFi directly within the VM guest.

But why?

I too have searched in vain and never found a compelling reason behind why WiFi is unable to be virtualized. I suspect there is some technical reason as to why but I've never been able to find it either.


  • @slm-Basically I wanted the response for that "But why?" part mainly;nevertheless,an excellent answer though! Upvoted your answer. Jun 7, 2014 at 17:24
  • @shekharsuman - I know. The best A I've found when I've spent literally hours searching for this is...one doesn't exist...at least not one that explains the technical reasons behind why. I too have found it frustrating since you'll often want to maintain a BackTrack or "war driving" type of setup as a VM and you basically cannot.
    – slm
    Jun 7, 2014 at 17:27

This is something i faced when I was new to BackTrack.

I believe the Wireless Interface will run only when the OS is being booted either from a USB or from the hard drive on the system - not from any Virtual platform.

There could be a solution by now - one never knows.

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