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I have BackTrack 5 R3 installed on VMware and it's on bridged connection so it gets its own IP on my network and it works. I get internet connection but there is no ethernet cable connected yet somehow when I do iwconfig I can't see wlan0 and no other wireless card but etho is connected to the network somehow... Can't it be that eth0 is my wireless card which is somehow misconfigured? It's an Intel centrino advanced n 6205.

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You need to give backtrack (vmware guest os) dedicated exclusive access to the Card. You can't do this with a builtin (minipci-e) card, as far as I know. VMware allows you to give USB devices (such as a usb wifi card) exclusive access. When you do this, Windows Reads your device as "VMware USB device" and doesn't interact with it, while the Guest OS has dedicated access.

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can u give some pointers to how to get VMware to get USB wifi card exclusive access? so that it will show up a true wifi adapter in a VMware network setting. Thanks, – GeorgeW Oct 25 '12 at 22:01

Your host system sees both your wireless card and the virtual ethernet adapter that is used to bridge networking with the VM, and the guest system (Backtrack) simply sees the virtual ethernet adapter. It is the host OS that is transparently bridging/routing packets between this virtual interface and the wireless card.

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I see, so how can I install the wireless card on backtrack too? – Tomer Oct 1 '12 at 19:13
@cloneman's answer is as much as I know in that regard. – Darth Android Oct 2 '12 at 15:01

BT sees your internal wireless as a generic network connection, so it labels the virtual connection as a wired (eth0) connection. In order to use an internal card, boot from a live CD OR do a full install, this is the only way BT5 will get exclusivity to the INTERNAL card. Running through VMWare you will pretty much need to use a USB wifi NIC.

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When you run virtualisation software then the guest does not get raw access to most hardware. Most VM give the guesst access to a fake (software only) network.

This means that you do not see the network card from the host. Neither the wired NIC nor the wireless NIC. You only see the emulated (fake) card.

If you want to use real hardware in the guest then you want to:

  1. Make sure that the host is not using it.
  2. Somehow attach it to the VM.

This can be done. Many type-1 hypervisors use PCI-e passthough for 10Gbit NICs and RAID cards and there is not reason why you could not do the same with a wireless card.

However in VMware-player and VMware workstation (both type-2 hypervisors) you seem to be limited to some sort of USB redirect/passthough. So the practical answer is to get an USB based wireless 'card' which is supported by Backtrack, plug it into the host and connect it to the guest using the removable devices menu.

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