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Thread: Network Drivers missing for Dell XPS15 9570 (Killer N1535 Wireless)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    2020-Jan
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    12

    Network Drivers missing for Dell XPS15 9570 (Killer N1535 Wireless)

    Hey Forum,

    I am a bit stuck with installing Kali on my XPS 15. Drivers not detected for the Killer N1535 wireless. The installation is failing.

    Can someone advise where I can get the drivers from and then, once I have them how do I inject them into the bootable media so that they are available to be installed? I don't have another Linux machine immediately available to create a USB stick that has EXT3 or EXT4 filesystem so will save me time if I can inject straight into the boot media.

    Also, can anoyone point me in the direction of where I can find these drivers? I found some Ubuntu drivers here but not sure if ubuntu will work on a Debian based Linux distro: https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/e...ubuntu-systems

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    2021-May
    Location
    UK
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    420
    First off, Killer N1535 wireless is just Dells nomenclature, it means nothing..

    If you follow your Ubuntu link however, and read further dwn the page, it shows that its actually using the Ath10k drivers, so in other words you have a Qualcomm Atheros wifi chipset in your device.

    This creates some problems,. it is a 'soft MAC' chipset, so it needs drivers to talk to it, and wifi chipset firmware loaded into the kernel as a module, now later versions of Linux do include the drivers in the kernel, so your half way there..

    and you can download firmware from the repo;

    sudo apt-get install firmware-atheros

    (It may already be in the Kali image if your lucky)

    Then try 'activating it'

    sudo modprobe -rv ath10k_pci
    sudo modprobe -v ath10k_pci


    One thing to note here, from whats been discussed, that chipset is quite difficult to get working properly, and most users can't use it for wifi scanning etc as it won't properly
    support monitor mode etc;

    https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/...Drivers/ath10k

    https://github.com/kvalo/ath10k-firmware

    https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...-a-4175572637/

    https://github.com/marcost2/ath10k

    https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...77-4175712774/


    So you may be better off getting an external USB wifi adapter, and if your going to do that, you could run Kali in a VM and have no driver issues at all!
    Last edited by Fred Sheehan; 2022-08-12 at 19:52.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    2020-Jan
    Posts
    12
    Thanks for such a detailed and informative response Fred. This really has helped me a lot. I have learnt from this.

    I do have an external USB wifi adaptor that I use for scanning. I won't often be scanning so this will work well for me.

    It is a little cumbersome to use that external adaptor all the time however and it would be great if I could get basic (reliable) functionality from the internal wifi adaptor.

    After some googling about I found that the Intel 9260NGW is an overall better wifi adaptor. Do you know how well this adaptor will work with Kali and whether I will need to manually configure it?

    I have never had to delve into adaptor configurations on Kali before as all previous laptops I have ran it on worked without any additional setup so this is quite an interesting situation for me.

    VM's aren't really an option for me as I need to get out and about with it for pentesting in the field. Also want to remove my dependency on Microsoft for just about everything I do.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    2021-May
    Location
    UK
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    If you already have a USB wifi adapter, then run Kali in a VM on your host machine, virtual box is free, and I believe VMWare player is too, both are very good virtual machine hypervisors!

    If you then create a VM for Kali, it will automatically get a virtual ethernet adapter connected (bridged) to your hosts wifi adapter, so the only need for the external wifi adapter then would be for when you actually want to scan or capture traffic from a wifi nettwork, for all other needs, Kali in a VM would work fine, and indeed thats how I use mine on a macbook!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    2020-Jan
    Posts
    12
    Ha! I fixed it! I had to attempt the installation a few more times to get it right. Chose no adaptor to at least into the kali OS. Once in, noted that the ath10k folder was not present in /lib/firmware so downloaded it from https://github.com/kvalo/ath10k-firmware

    I had to go into the QCA6174 folder (this was what it mentioned couldn't be found on the installer) and move the .bin files into hw3.0 folder. Each one had to be renamed in accordance with what the installer said it needed.

    Then managed to copy the ath10k folder in with a USB stick after adjusting its contents into /lib/firmware. Rebooted and its just simply working. How stable it will be remains to be seen but im happy with that. I will be using my external adaptor for the heavy stuff.

    One thing though, to get through the installer I had to opt to not install most commonly used applications as it wouldn't proceed otherwise. I do want to install commonly used applications (all applications in fact). Is there a simple command for that?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    2021-May
    Location
    UK
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    Use the Settings -> Kali tweaks menu and you can add in all missing packages there, by default under networks section of that, it is normally set to use community repos, which for me fails a lot, so I have mine set to cloudflare, and that works.

    When you first installed it, if it didn't have network access, then it would have failed had you tried to install anything not in the image, as it would have needed internet..

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