How to Connect Your AWUS1900 Network Card with Kali Linux

Recently, I was spurred to update my familiarity with doing some wireless attacks.

Unfortunately, my ALFA AWUS1900 network card wasn’t immediately recognized by my Kali Linux VM; this isn’t altogether uncommon - people report having compatibility issues with wireless network cards all the time. Issues can arise when trying to connect physical hardware to a virtualized machine - oftentimes tied to the device’s drivers. What was irksome in my case was that this network card had worked with an earlier version of Kali Linux out-of-the-box, but was throwing errors with the current version (at the time of writing, Kali Linux 2024.1). Furthermore, remedial actions online appeared to be inconsistent with the issues I was facing.

So after some troubleshooting, I was able to solve my issues by performing the steps below:

First - since I was using Virtualbox as a hypervisor - I had to configure the VM to recognize the device:

After confirming that the USB device was connecting to the VM:


I identified the chipset as being RTL8814AU and set about finding the driver update. Looking up the device’s driver support page, we found we could get the necessary updates here:

git clone

Within this git repository, we are meant to run However, doing so was throwing the following errors:

Your kernel header files aren't properly installed.
Please consult your distro documentation or user support forums.

This is because - for reasons unknown to me - the linux kernel of Kali Linux 2024.1 (6.6.9-amd64) doesn’t have a /lib/modules/6.6.9-amd64/build file, which should point to a /usr/src/6.6.9-amd64 directory (which likewise does not exist). Checking the apt repositories shows that there aren’t any linux-headers-6.6.9-amd64 entries, but there are linux-headers-6.6.15-amd64. So - just to keep things simple and tidy, I upgraded my kernel version.

First we run the command below to get the updated linux headers.

sudo apt install linux-headers-6.6.15-amd64

Then we update the kernel accordingly:

sudo apt install linux-image-6.6.15-amd64

This last command is necessary in order for the uname -r command to recognize the updated version (which matters, because invokes that command).

After all of this, we can finally run the file within the git repository downloaded earlier. Doing this and executing a sudo reboot command finally got the wireless card recognized.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.