Noob alert! I'm trying to set up a TP-Link TL-WN722N wifi usb dongle (so I can run monitor mode) on my raspberry pi 3 which is running kali linux. The problem is that the drivers for the wifi adapter came on a little CD and obviously the pi does not have a disk drive. I thought that since the Kali OS image was just on my micro-sd card (64GB) that I'd simply plug the card into my sd adapter and slide it into my laptop, which has a CD drive. I wanted to boot from the SD card slot and install the drivers to the OS using the cd drive on the laptop.

This did not work because as I later found out, the SD card slot was not a bootable option on this particular laptop. You can boot from USB but the SD card slot is off the table. So I went and got one of those cheap all-in-one adapters to go from micro-sd to USB. Plugged it in and tried to boot but the laptop still doesn't recognize it as a bootable drive.

My laptop will boot from other USB drives that have other versions of Kali on them but it will not boot from the micro-sd to USB adapter. Is there a difference in the way the image file boots that is causing this issue? I've never used a .img file before but it doesn't seem to be bootable unless it's in the micro-sd card slot on the pi.

I found a place online to download the drivers from TP-Link. I downloaded them successfully but how do I install these drivers in kali after they've been downloaded and saved to the pi?


1) Why does kali boot in the micro-sd card slot on the raspberry pi, but not on other machines when using micro-sd to usb adapter (.img file)?

2) How can I install the drivers for a wifi usb dongle that came on a cd if I have no access to a cd drive?

migrated from security.stackexchange.com Oct 25 '17 at 6:18

This question came from our site for information security professionals.

  • 2
    I voted to migrate this to super user, it’s not a security question. – Tobi Nary Oct 24 '17 at 20:33
  • Unless Kali uses a fairly old kernel, you don't want to use the manufacturer-provided driver. 4.13.5 has a RTL8188EU driver already (not sure when it was pulled into mainline). – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 25 '17 at 6:24

1) Why does kali boot in the micro-sd card slot on the raspberry pi, but not on other machines when using micro-sd to usb adapter (.img file)?

This is an intentional design of the Raspberry Pi, and is a setup that is not typically standard of traditional desktop/laptop hardware (The norm has been HDD boot for some time, followed by optical (CD/DVD/BD) and USB. The boot order can be changed, however, in most BIOS. SD is not a common boot option for BIOS). As for MicroSD -> USB adapters, certainly there is a level of drivers that need to be installed for the machine to recognize the adapter as a device that is connected via USB, and not as an SD card. Operating systems usually have an integrated interface driver set, but when you're booting prior to that environment there is no driver set that allows that recognition to happen. So, at best, BIOS is seeing the adapter as an SD port with SD media, and no boot option for it. Therefore, it skips over it. Most likely, though, it's only seeing a USB device, and no information about storage media on it.

2) How can I install the drivers for a wifi usb dongle that came on a cd if I have no access to a cd drive?

But you DO have access to a CD drive. It's just not on the machine that you're hoping to use it on. So, this is a question of critical thinking: How would you access the content that is on the CD on the machine that does not have one? How about transferring the contents? You could use a USB flash drive, or do it over the network. You could .zip it and upload it to a personal cloud and download it on the other end. There are many solutions to this, so think about what works best for you with respect to time, resources, and security.

  • Anyone reading this please also see the answer that I provided for extra information. Thanks psosuna. – Digital Brent Oct 26 '17 at 16:32

You can copy the files from your machine to the pi over the network, which would be the easiest.

You can also mount the sd card on your laptop and copy the files.

Or - because that driver probably won’t support promiscuous or monitor mode - you could install another driver from another source.

As to why it didn’t boot with an adapter: no clue.


After 2 days of frustrating troubleshooting and monotonous research, I finally discovered what the problem with this setup is. For anyone having trouble using the TP-Link TL-WN722N wifi USB adapter on kali linux, the problem is most likely that you are using version 2 or higher of the hardware. These drivers are not compatible with Kali linux.

Switch to version 1 (you can find the version by checking the little sticker on the underside of the adapter). Version 1 will work with Kali. Answer still goes to psosuna for answering the first part of my question. Thanks!

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