I have created a Kali Linux VirtualBox and want to use my Wi-Fi card not wired connection. The standard NAT adapter gives me internet just fine, but when I change that to bridged adapter and select my Wi-Fi card "TP-LINK 802.11ac Network Adapter" with "promiscuous mode: Deny" and "Cable Connected" ticked. Kali does not change to wireless network and show me the available networks, it stays as Ethernet network with wired connection 1. The network symbol is spinning and it cannot connect to the internet.

Hopefully this is a matter of turning off Ethernet and turning on Wi-Fi but I don't know.


Bridging your wireless adapter to your VM does not give your VM a wireless device. Notice when you expand the "Advanced" section of the VM's adapter settings that "Adapter Type" is an option; this is the "device" which is presented to the VM.

This means that no matter which host connection you are bridging, the connection will appear to be of that "Adapter Type" to the guest. In other words, it will still appear to be an Ethernet connection to Kali.

To get WiFi to your Kali box when bridging is already set up, connect to WiFi on your host. (Note: this will connect your VM to your WiFi network, but will not result in Kali "speaking WiFi", so Aircrack-ng etc. would still not be usable.)

If the WiFi interface is a USB device plugged into your host, then you can probably pass that through to your VM.

  • I see what you mean and that clears it up a bit. I want to use the aircrack suite and so I want to initiate monitor mode with "sudo airmon-ng start eth0" I have done this on my respberry pi but cant seem to get it working on the VM. Currently the bridged adapter is set as the only adapter for the VM and the host is connected to the wifi through the card. Since the connection appears as wired to the VM I don't know if/how I can run something in monitor mode to use aircrack, whether it would be eth0 or something else. – Marcus Apr 29 at 17:38
  • Oh, okay. You'll need to pass through some WiFi hardware to your VM - a USB WiFi adapter, or the PCIe card via IOMMU if that's possible. Would it be easier for you to boot your host to Kali on a USB? – Jesse Apr 30 at 1:06
  • It would me more convenient to use the VM, I'll have a look into what IOMMU is but in the meantime, if I bought a USB wifi dongle with monitor mode capabilities, would that be read by the VM as wireless wlan0 which I could then use? – Marcus Apr 30 at 12:41
  • That'll work. (Make sure Linux has a driver for it.) – Jesse May 1 at 16:12

in the view of the virtual machine (kali in this case), the connection is always a wired one. The VM doesn't "see" your hardware-adapter (TP-Link) but a virtual interface (AMD PCNet FAST III by default).

"bridged" networking means, that your physical networkcard is able to use promiscuous mode, that means that a single connection can be used for multiple clients with their own ip-address each. Depending on the Address the network is asking for, the request gets delivered to the host or the vm.

I cannot remember that I used bridged networking on a WiFi ever, but I assume that if the host sets up the WiFi-Connection (SSID, WPA, etc), you may connect the VM as bridged – but don't nail me on that.

As far as I understand is that you want to have your host connected via cable and kali connected via wifi, is that correct? in that case I recommend you removing all virtual network interfaces and pass throug the usb-wifi-dongle. this way the network-interface inside the vm is the real one but the host system has no access to the dongle anymore (and thus no wifi).

  • It is not an issue for me to have the host as wifi just aslong as the virtual machine does aswell, also I don't have a usb wifi dongle, I have a pci-e wifi card. My intent is to use the aircrack suite so I need to be able to initiate a monitor enabled connection such as eth0mon with airmon-ng start eth0. – Marcus Apr 29 at 17:23
  • sorry, but that will not work. For this you need direct access to the wifi-hardware (unless there are some other tools to redirect traffic etc, but at least one part has to run on the host). maybe your host is capable of IOMMU (AMD-Vi or Intel VT-d). Then you can pass the PCI-Card the same way you could pass a usb-device. – blaimi Apr 29 at 17:42

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