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I have been playing with the aircrack-ng tools, and also Kismet to see how my networks appear.

Kismet creates a monitor interface wlan0mon which it uses for scanning.

With airmon-ng I can create and remove monitor interfaces, but I am unable to remove wlan0mon created by kismet. wlan0mon remains regardless of if I forcefully kill the Kismet process or exit cleanly.

airmon-ng stop wlan0mon

results in a message that monitor mode is disabled for wlan0mon, but I can find no way to remove it.

Can anyone tell me why this is? I am much more interested in learning why I can't remove this interface, although a solution would also be nifty.

I have looked at another similar question which suggested using grimwepa with the verbose switch, but from what I could tell grimwepa never calls to use kismet.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

If your wireless card runs a netlink compatibile driver (eg. based on the standard mac80211 stack), you can use the following command to delete the interface:

    iw dev wlan0mon del

See iw help output for more info on creating/deleting VIFs:


    dev <devname> interface add <name> type <type> [mesh_id <meshid>] [4addr on|off] [flags <flag>*]
    phy <phyname> interface add <name> type <type> [mesh_id <meshid>] [4addr on|off] [flags <flag>*]
            Add a new virtual interface with the given configuration.
            Valid interface types are: managed, ibss, monitor, mesh, wds.

            The flags are only used for monitor interfaces, valid flags are:
            none:     no special flags
            fcsfail:  show frames with FCS errors
            control:  show control frames
            otherbss: show frames from other BSSes
            cook:     use cooked mode

            The mesh_id is used only for mesh mode.

    dev <devname> del
            Remove this virtual interface

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kismet describes it as a VAP, is that different from vif? why can airmon-ng delete the virtual devices it creates but not the once created by kismet? – Jay White Feb 9 '11 at 20:19
VIF stands for virtual interface, VAP stands for virtual access point. As far as I understand it, and it seems these terms are used quite loosely, VAP is an access-point running on a VIF. Depending on the driver you can have multiple interfaces (VIFs) on one radio. You can have (some of) those VIFs in Master mode and run an instance of hostapd therefore creating a number of VAPs. – koniu Feb 10 '11 at 23:10
As for airmon-ng stop <ifname> failing to destroy kimset-created interface, well, airmon-ng is a helper script for the aircrack-ng suite and is predominantly meant to be used in pair with airmon-ng start <ifname> to provide a convenient wrapper around various backend tools to create/destroy interfaces in monitor mode. The stop part seems to rely on interface name being in monX format as shown by this simple experiment: iw dev wlan0 interface add mon0 type monitor; airmon-ng stop mon0; iw dev wlan0 interface add wlan0mon type monitor; airmon-ng stop mon0;. – koniu Feb 10 '11 at 23:42
Amazing answer, sorry I took so long to accept it :) – Jay White Feb 13 '11 at 7:52
Although just curious, why can airmon-ng disable monitor mode on wlan0mon but not remove it? I guess the check per name comes after disabling it? – Jay White Feb 13 '11 at 7:53

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