Help needed to make “wlan0” appear after “ifconfig” command:Alfa WiFi adapter, VirtualBox,Win. host

Hi. I’d like to make use of an Alfa AWUS036NHA, Universal Serial Bus (USB), WiFi network adapter in a 64-bit, openSUSE-13.2, Linux operating system as the Virtual “Machine” (VM) in Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3.22 r98236, which in turn is installed in a 64-bit, Windows-8.1, host operating system. I have looked at the Web pages,, and But I don’t think I have found the right combination of settings to see my Alfa adapter, identified according to perhaps its Media Access Control (MAC) address, listed as the software-identified “device” “wlan0” after an “ifconfig” command in the “terminal” program LXTerminal (I’m also using the LXDE, the Lightweight X Windows System, Version 11 [X11] Desktop Environment.). So please help me with some detailed instructions to do that.

VirtualBox works with a virtual Network, so it will not work with the native Drivers. This virtual Network is bind on a real Hardware of the Host.


So far only usb devices can be used in a virtualbox vm. Meaning only usb wlan stick will work in your openSUSE vm and it only support usb2 provided you installed the extension pack. :wink:

I thank those of you who kindly took some time to post some typing in this “thread.” As it turned out, I had the extension pack for Oracle VM (Virtual Machine) VirtualBox 4.3.22r98236 already installed on my computer’s hard-disk drive. And today I updated Oracle VM VirtualBox and the extension pack for it to version 4.3.24r98716 of them. But I still haven’t succeeded in seeing “wlan0” listed after an “ifconfig” command using either the NAT (Network Address Translator) or a bridged adapter in VirtualBox. According to The Renderlab: Kismet on Windows How-To guide V0.3 on the Internet, the computer program Kismet in a Windows operating system required the installation of Cygwin. But more serious is the comment there that Kismet in a Windows operating system was among wireless cards only reported to work with Kismet Drones, with Cacetech Airpcap somehow excepted. Assuming that in jetchisel’s comment that wlan “stick” working in openSUSE in Oracle VM VirtualBox refers to a Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drive and based on the success reported by Keith Barber in the video on Security Videos from TechTarget of an Alfa WiFi adpater working in Kali Linux, when Kali Linux was a VM within Oracle VM VirtualBox, an option for me at the present time could be to install Kali Linux as another VM within VirtualBox to see if it will work with my Alfa, AWUS036NHA, WiFi adapter.

As others have noted,

By default, VBox implements virtual networks and presents the Guest with only an ordinary wired connection, no matter what the physical network might be. Although I posted this description for KVM and libvirt vm manager, the concepts described in the following post apply the same to VBox with only very minor differences

For most use, this use of virtual networks is not only adequate, it delivers a system to manage and modify network connections easily with minimal changes in the Guest no matter how the physical network might change.

An exception is pen-testing, like Kali.
Yes, to capture packets you generally need direct access (real mode?) to the NIC, while this can be configured in most virtualization (including VBox), success can be inconsistent (depends on system hardware and HostOS drivers) and passing direct hardware access to a Guest typically means exclusive access meaning no access by the HostOS or any other Guest.

The alternative is to not run Kali in VBox (or similar virtualization).
Alternative options:

  • Run Kali either as a LiveCD or as a mult-boot option. Either grants Kali full, unrestricted access for sniffing packets.
  • Although I haven’t tried it, I wonder if Docker might work. The default architecture for configuring network access is different than typical networking, and I haven’t looked at the technical ramifications.
  • Use Kali simply as a guide for what apps to use. If you need to capture packets, you might find that app (like aircrack-ng) can be installed from the official repos into your openSUSE.