I'm running Kali linux through VirtualBox on my Macbook Pro 10,1.

I've ben having trouble getting my wireless card to work or even be recognized. When I run lspci the ethernet controller will show but no network controller.

I know my card should be a Broadcom BCM4331 - but I can only assume this by tracking down the vendor ID and device ID (pci14e4,4331) through my mac terminal.

I'm really over my head here and very new with all of this. I've ben digging through forum after forum trying to figure this out.

Any help would be appreciated!

2 Answers 2


There are three potential problems here, and one alternative:

1) Kali is used for penetration testing. It's not meant to be run in a VM (though people do), and it has a track record of being bad with hardware drivers.

Also, Kali is not "what all the Hackers use", no matter what you read on some forums.

So, ditch Kali, install some other distro (e.g. a Debian one, Kali is Debian based). You'll have all the hacking tools Kali has (but you'll have to install them, e.g. sud apt-get aircrack-ng), but you'll have working drivers for hardware, and none of the other headaches Kali gives you (not working package manager).

2) Make sure you have configured virtualbox to pass on your Wifi hardware to the client. Note that in this case the Wifi hardware won't be available for the Mac any longer.

3) Apple keeps their hardware details confidential, so even if you get the Wifi hardware into virtualbox, there may not be a working Linux kernel driver for it, or the available drivers may not always work correctly, or may you only allow some part of the hardware features.

4) There's actually no need to use Linux to do Wifi hacking, many tools are also directly available for the Mac, for example via homebrew. E.g. do brew search aircrack or brew search wireshark.

  • Thanks for the advice. I'm not trying to be the world's "next best hacker" or anything. I recently began an IT degree and they use kali in some of the labs so I thought it would be a good idea to slowly play around with it on my own. I'll take your advice though and look for another distro. Do you have any suggestions? Also, do you think I would have better luck with the Mac hardware if instead of using a VM I set it up as a dual boot? Apr 4, 2020 at 22:48
  • We get questions like "I am setting up Kali in a VM and my hardware doesn't work" every week, and usually it's people having read "Kali is what all the hackers use" forum entries. And I don't even know what has driven the TAs to use Kali in the labs... Dual but doesn't help with respect to drivers: it will be the same kernel driver for hardware assigned to virtual box, or for hardware available on boot. Is your goal to learn Kali, or to learn Linux? And even if it is to learn Kali, maybe start with learning Linux, so fighting Kali problems will be easier.
    – dirkt
    Apr 5, 2020 at 4:58
  • As I wrote, try some Debian-based distro, because Kali is also Debian based. I've been using Debian myself for ages. For beginners, Ubuntu is maybe better. There are many other Debian-based distro's out there, if you find one you like better, go ahead and use it.
    – dirkt
    Apr 5, 2020 at 5:00

You won't be able to use your macbook's discrete wireless card via the VM. Kali has a lot of valuable uses in a VM, but interacting with native hardware isn't one of them. For this situation you'd be best to dual boot or just run Kali from a LiveUSB stick to use your wireless card with it.

Relevant: https://www.kali.org/docs/usb/kali-linux-live-usb-install/

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