Alfa Network AWUS1900 wireless pen-testing setup – Part 1

In my previous post on unboxing the Alfa Network AWUS1900 USB wireless adapter, I briefly mentioned that there is a caveat when putting it into monitor mode for use with Aircrack-ng.

While I was successful in putting the AWUS1900 into monitor mode, I ran into an issue where Airodump-ng is running and scanning but it is not showing any wireless networks even though there are a few in the vicinity.

Read on to find out how I finally manage to get the AWUS1900 to play nice with Aircrack-ng!

Updating your Kali distribution

Before we proceed with putting the AWUS1900 into monitor mode and setting up injection, we will need to make sure that your Kali distribution is up-to-date and you have got the appropriate drivers.

Updating the Kali distribution is simple. By running the following commands, your Kali distribution and other associated dependencies will be updated.

root@kali:~# apt update && apt upgrade

root@kali:~# apt install dkms && apt install bc && apt install build-essential && apt install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Installing the driver

Here comes the interesting part, finding and installing the drivers for AWUS1900.

Using the AWUS1900 is realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms.

I initially installed the driver from the Kali package repository but I started looking for other sources after running into the issue described above.

The other 2 source I installed the AWS1900 drivers from are directly from Aircrack-ng‘s github repository or kimocoders‘s github repository.

You can easily google those sources out easily so I am not going to provide the links here.

The easiest way to install the realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms from the Kali package repository is by running the following command.

apt install realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms

The driver is downloaded and installed automatically without any further intervention.

Verifying the installed driver

This step would assume that you have hooked up your AWUS1900 to your computer.

To check that the realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms driver has been installed correctly, all you need to do is the run the following command.


The output of airmon-ng would look like the following.

Output after running airmon-ng

When your output is the same as mine, that means you have installed the realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms driver for your AWUS1900 successfully.

This is the end of part 1 on how to set up your Alfa Network AWUS1900 for wireless penetration testing using Kali Linux.

Stay tune for part 2 coming up soon… =)