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Thread: Macbook Pro Kali + Mac OS Dual Boot Install Guide & WiFi Guide

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    East Bay Area, CA

    Macbook Pro Kali + Mac OS Dual Boot Install Guide & WiFi Guide

    I was excited that I got Kali running on my Macbook Pro after upgrading to Mac os 10.9 so I wrote this guide for all you fellow Macbook Pro users. I hope it is helpful. Below is my specific model Macbook Pro BUT this will more likely than not work for a lot of other Macbook Pro models.

    UPDATE: The latest version of Mac Linux USB Loader should make this guide unnecessary but if it does not work for you refer back to this guide. The latest version can be found here:

    The Guide below shows how to dual boot Kali Linux and Mac OS 10.9.5 with the following hardware and software:

    Macbook Pro 5,3 (Mid 2009)
    Mac OS 10.9.5
    Kali 1.1.0a (Amd64 iso)
    Refind 0.8.7
    Mac Linux USB Loader 3.0.2

    Also tested on:
    Macbook Pro 11,1 (Mid 2014, Late 2013) running Mac OS 10.9.5


    - Wifi guide is at the bottom, it mentions BCM4322 but likely works for a lot of other Broadcom based “Airport” wireless devices.

    - I’ve written this in as simple terms as possible because I’ve noticed a lot of people who try this lack very much experience with this kind of thing. Sorry if it’s a little annoying.

    - The developer of Mac Linux USB Loader has said that in version 3.1 Kali will be fully supported so you likely will no longer need my installation instructions below.

    - It seems to be Mac OS 10.9 that made my Linux Apple laptop life this hard as I was previously able to install Kali no problem when I dual booted it with Mac OS 10.8 and way way back I used to have Backtrack Linux installed on this same laptop dual booting Mac OS 10.6 with no issues.

    - Keeping the above note in mind, if you have Mac OS 10.10 or an older Mac OS (Pre-10.9) the below method may not work for you since I only have 10.9 to test this on and I do not know what else this works on. So if the guide below does not work I would try two things:
    1) DD the Kali iso to a USB drive on it’s own.
    Instructions for this are on the Kali Docs website here:
    If booting that doesn’t work then…
    2) Skip steps 4 and 5 below to try booting the Mac Linux USB Loader created USB drive without replacing the files I mention.
    If neither of those things work then check the Kali forums! There are a lot of methods here for other Macbook Pro's/Apple computers! They simply did not work for my model laptop/firmware version.

    To Install Kali:

    1) First download the Kali ISO appropriate for your hardware, this laptop and all Macbook Pro’s (unless I’m mistaken) are 64-bit so I am using the Amd64 ISO. Then download Mac Linux USB Loader and install it into your Applications folder.
    Download here:

    2) In Mac OS use Disk Utility to format your USB drive as MsDOS/FAT (NOT ExFAT) and under ‘options’ in the ‘partition’ tab choose MBR partition table.

    3) Open Mac Linux USB Loader and follow the instructions from the developer here:
    a) For ‘Choose Destination’ choose your USB drive that you formatted.
    b) For ‘Choose Enterprise Source’ choose ‘Included With Application’.
    c) Then on the next page for ‘Distribution Family’ select Debian.
    d) Now hit ‘Begin Installation’ and wait.

    4) Once the installation is completed by Mac Linux USB Loader then download the files
    ‘boot.efi’ and ‘bootX64.efi’ from the link below.
    (Do this by clicking each file then clicking ‘View Raw’)

    5) Copy both of these files to the ‘boot’ folder on your USB drive, replacing the two files of the same name that are already there. The ‘boot’ folder is located at:

    6) Now install Refind. Download it from here:
    a) Extract the file you downloaded and open a Terminal window
    b) Type ‘cd’ with a space after it then drag the folder you extracted into your Terminal window (The line should now look similar to
    ‘NameOfComputer:~ Me$ cd /something/something_else/refind_0.8.7’).
    Now hit enter.
    c) Now type ‘sudo ./’, hit enter, and let it complete the installation process.

    7) Restart your computer and your Refind loader should come up (If it doesn’t then repeat the Refind install process). It will show an Apple and also a couple of other icons with small USB icons on them. Select the one labeled something like ‘Fallback boot loader’.

    At this point it is important that you have your laptop plugged into the internet via an ethernet cable since the wifi card won’t work until we install a driver in the wifi guide.

    8) Now press ‘1’ to load the Kali ISO and let it load. It will say it is going into blind mode. Then after a short time it will start scrolling through text. If it doesn’t start scrolling within thirty seconds to a minute (indicating it’s loading Kali) then force a shutdown, start the computer again, and repeat the steps because sometimes this has to be done a few times before it will load Kali.

    9) Once Kali boots and you log into it (User: root and Password: toor) go to Applications>System Tools>Install Kali Linux. After you go through a few steps it will throw you two errors: ‘Failed to retrieve pre configuration file’ and ‘An installation step failed’.

    10) It will now take you back to a screen that has a list of installation steps on the left hand side with ‘Abort Installation’ at the bottom of the list. Select from that list ‘Load installer components from CD’ and on the list of packages it shows check the box for ‘load-media’, it’s description should be ‘load installer components from removable media’. Now click ‘Continue’. It will now load some packages with a progress bar.

    11) The installer will then ask if you want to load drivers from removable media, click no then continue. Then it will give you the same two errors from above: ‘Failed to retrieve pre configuration file’ and ‘An installation step failed’. And it will again take you back to a list of installation steps that is now longer than it was before. On that list select ‘Detect network hardware’ (And if you haven’t yet you need to plug your computer into the internet via an ethernet cable). Select ‘eth0’ as your network device and click ‘continue’.

    12) Now continue through the installation process. If you need partitioning help see Kali’s dual boot guide on their Kali Docs website here:
    (If you need to resize your Mac OS partition I would not recommend resizing it with gparted as they say to and instead do it with Disk Utility in Mac OS)

    13) Once the installation is complete boot into Mac OS X and follow steps 6b and 6c above in order to reinstall Refind. This is so that Refind sees your new installation of Kali Linux and installs the ext4 file system driver so it can boot into that installation.

    14) Now simply restart your computer and select the Penguin icon on the Refind menu to boot into your installation of Kali Linux. If your wifi will not connect under Kali follow the steps below.

    How to get the BCM4322 Broadcom wireless (Airport) working:

    (To check what Broadcom card you have in Kali type ‘lspci’ in the Terminal and look through the list of hardware that comes up for a line with ‘802.11a/b/g/n’ at the end of it. Your card model is BCM followed by four to five numbers.)


    1) Once you are logged into your installation of Kali go into Applications>System Tools>Add/Remove Software. Search Broadcom and uncheck every package EXCEPT the ones that say ‘NetXtreme’ and ‘various drivers’. Click Apply.

    --The rest of this guide is exactly what you would do in the above Debian Wiki link--

    2) Open a Terminal window.
    a) Type ‘apt-get update’ into Terminal and hit enter.
    b) Once the above is done copy ‘apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r|sed 's,[^-]*-[^-]*-,,') broadcom-sta-dkms’ and paste it into the Terminal without the ‘ ’ quotes at the beginning and end of course.
    c) Copy ‘modprobe -r b44 b43 b43legacy ssb brcmsmac’ and paste it into Terminal once the above is done downloading and installing.
    d) And finally type or copy and paste ‘modprobe wl’.

    3) Your wifi should now be working without constantly asking for the password to the network. If not, restart Kali and it should work.

    ^ The one downside of having a working wifi card this way is that you cannot spoof the MAC address, which is fine by me because I have some small portable wifi cards but sorry to those who don’t have other options. I’m told there are complicated workarounds that fix the b43 driver (the spoofable driver) so that it actually works in Kali and thus you wouldn’t need the above ‘wl’ driver (the not spoofable driver).
    Last edited by jinxc; 2015-08-23 at 08:29 PM. Reason: added a note on latest Mac Linux USB Loader

  2. #2
    Thank you jinxc for taking the time to write up your finding =).
    Job well done.
    This is a Kali-Linux support forum - not general IT/infosec help.

    Useful Commands: OS, Networking, Hardware, Wi-Fi
    Troubleshooting: Kali-Linux Installation, Repository, Wi-Fi Cards (Official Docs)
    Hardware: Recommended 802.11 Wireless Cards

    Documentation: (Offline PDF version)
    Bugs Reporting & Tool Requests:
    Kali Tool List, Versions & Man Pages:

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Nice write up jinxc.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    This post got me the furthest so far but im still stuck! I am on step #8: as soon as I hit '1' to load the ISO, it says "alloc magic is broken at 0x87301a40: 207d007d68746170". I have followed it to a T and have restarted the steps yet result in the same issue.


  5. #5
    Hi All,

    I would sincerely like to thank everyone here who has posted their procedures on getting Kali going dual boot with OS X. Just awesome level of effort being thrown into this

    I have been working pretty much non-stop since I received my brand spankin' new MBP (15" 11,5 - Preinstalled w/10.10.3 - LVM/WDE ala FileVault) on Friday. I am by no means a new comer to Unix or Linux, nor to the former incarnations of this distro (Back|Track and its predecessors). Where I am a total newb is Mac and OS X (although my previous experience on FreeBSD is helping dramatically). I simply have never had the budget to go Mac (as I suspect is a common impediment).

    Through a mixture of guides, i.e. - manual installation of rEFInd v0.8.7 (with "bless[ing]" the ESP mount point), combined with jinxc's steps 3 (FYI, the dev instructions are misleading, do not move the app to Applications, unzip it to the same dir as your ISO and run it from there, or the app will complain about the Enterprise sources due to sandboxing limitations) and 4 above (step 4 being absolutely critical to boot success), I have been able to boot into Live Kali - YAY!!!

    Unfortunately, I now have another issue I need to resolve before continuing, but wanted to ask if anyone had any thoughts on this before I go shell out for the lightning bolt ethernet adapter (I seriously wish I had bought stock in Apple in '97 lol). I have rolled my own ISOs for Ubuntu and CentOS in the past, but it has been a seriously long time and my aging mind is having trouble recalling how I got the wl packages going offline. Any thoughts on this? Am I heading down another rabbit hole here? Should I say screw it and throw the money at the adapter to keep some sanity?

    Any comment, suggestions welcome here



  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Will this tutorial work on a new Macbook 12inch (2015) with El Capitain OS?


  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Hoe, yes, it work perfectly.

    El Capitan OS, Windows 10, Kali 2.0 = Triple Boot on MacBook Pro (later 2013).


  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Hi jinxc,
    thank you for this tutorial, but i have an issue with wifi,
    i have macbook 5,3 like you, i installed Kali Linux 1.1.0a, wifi seems to work but the signal is low and connection problems.
    I followed your guide about the wifi (i added deb jessie main contrib non-free), when i do:
    "modprobe wl" i have:
    FATAL: module wl not found.
    i can tell you that when i did:
    apt-get install linux-image-$(uname -r|sed 's,[^-]*-[^-]*-,,') linux-headers-$(uname -r|sed 's,[^-]*-[^-]*-,,') broadcom-sta-dkms
    I had in the final:
    Examining /etc/kernel/header_postinst.d.
    run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/header_postinst.d/dkms 3.16.0-4-amd64
    : Unable to find an initial ram disk that I know how to handle.
    Will not try to make an initrd
    Configurazione di linux-headers-amd64 (3.16+63)...
    Elaborazione dei trigger per libc-bin...

    Have a solution?
    P.s. i have an upgrade 8gb of ram's bank
    Thank you!!

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Great post! I was able to get Kali up and running with wifi on my 2015 MBP; however, now I am unable to boot into OSX. I press and hold Option to get to rEFIND boot menu but when I select OSX it takes a few mins and then I get a circle with a line through it. Any help would be great!

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    How can I install the Broadcom BCM43 drivers on Kali if I am not connected or can not connect to the internet?

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