I am writing this short blog to document only way available to make my favorite Alfa card work on Kali VM. Hopefully this will help you too with your WiFi PT setup.
Just to reiterate, this post is not about WiFi Pentest, but limited to setup Alfa card with Realtek chipset on Kali Linux VM. Also I am documenting things which I have personally tried and tested. Same process might not work with different versions of OS/drivers.
Bit of a background
As you may know already, Alfa cards are dedicatedly used towards WiFi pentesting. It’s not like you cannot use other cards, but people mostly prefer Alfa card due to it’s build, looks and due to the fact that they are made for pentesters.
Most of the Alfa cards come with Realtek chipset. Unfortunately, Realtek chipset drivers are not very good for Pentesting. This is mostly due to stability issues. Trivially there were many drivers written and available over Github but they were more hit and miss.
However Aircrack-ng developers wrote their own version (forked from earlier devs) and finally we have got stable drivers for some chipsets (RTL8812AU/21AU and RTL8814AU). We will same driver in this post.
VMware Workstation/Player: In my personal experience, VMWare supports USB well. I have faced USB support issue with Virtual Box all most of the time, just as I mentioned in my “Creating Perfect Hackintosh VM Creation” post.
AWUS036ACS Alfa Card: This is relatively small and less flashy card from Alfa Networks. I chose this because of it’s small size and dual band (2.4/5 GHz) support.
Kali VM (2022.1): I prefer downloading ISO (Bare Metal option) than VM. You can go ahead with your preference. Also I am not sure if said drivers will work on older versions of Kali. Please try yourself.
My base machine was Dell Inspiron laptop with Windows 11.
- Install Kali 2022.1 on VMWare Workstation.
- After successful installation, update kali and install dependencies.
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential libelf-dev linux-headers-`uname -r`
3. Download git repo with version 126.96.36.199
$ git clone -b v188.8.131.52 https://github.com/aircrack-ng/rtl8812au.git && cd rtl*
4. Once done, go with building.
$ make && make install
With this you’ll be able connect and use Alfa cards with RTL8812AU/21AU and RTL8814AU chipsets.