Kismet on OSX

Compiling Kismet on OSX

Kismet is capable of running on OSX and capturing data on OSX natively.

Building Kismet

Kismet should build on OSX directly, but requires some libraries be installed.

  1. Install XCode from the Apple App Store. You may be prompted, during the course of installing MacPorts, to install other components of XCode and the XCode command-line utilities.

  2. Install a ports library; for example:

    • MacPorts from
    • HomeBrew from
  3. Install the needed external libraries; if prompted to install other necessary libraries or tools, of course say yes:

    • For macports:

      $ sudo port install libmicrohttpd pcre protobuf-c protobuf-cpp libusb

    • For brew:

      $ brew install libmicrohttpd pcre protobuf protobuf-c libusb

  4. Install any desired external tools; to capture sensors using a rtl-sdr USB device and the rtl_433 tool, you will need a USB device, the librtlsdr library, and the rtl_433 tool set up. You should be able to follow the guides on for more information.

  5. Install python2 and pip. pip is the Python package manager; depending on your configuration it may be called py-pip; for example:

    • For macports:
      $ sudo port install py-pip

    Kismet uses Python to capture from rtl_433 and for other plugin functions; installing pip will allow Python to fetch additional libraries automatically.

  6. Make a source directory for Kismet (optional, but recommended)
    $ mkdir src`
  7. Get the Kismet code by running, from within your src directory, the following:

    $ git clone
  8. Configure Kismet. You’ll likely need to pass some options to tell the OSX compilers where to find the libraries and headers. From within your kismet directory, run:

    $ export CFLAGS="-I/opt/local/include" 
    $ export LDFLAGS="-L/opt/local/lib" 
    $ export CPPFLAGS="-I/opt/local/include" 
    $ ./configure
  9. Compile Kismet.
    $ make

    There will be some warnings - generally they can be ignored. As the OSX port evolves, the warnings will be cleaned up.

    As with installation on Linux, you can accelerate the process by adding -j#, depending on how many CPUs you have.

    $ make -j4
  10. Install Kismet
    $ sudo make suidinstall

    make suidinstall will install the Kismet helpers as suid-root, executeable by users in the staff group in OSX. There is more information on the suidinstall method in the Kismet README; in general it increases the overall Kismet security by allowing you to launch Kismet as a normal user; only the packet capture tools will run as root.

Configuring and Running Kismet

Kismet supports both local capture (from CoreWLAN / Apple wireless devices) and remote capture (from embedded Linux devices, etc, over the network).

Kismet will (currently) work only with Wi-Fi devices supported by the built-in Apple drivers; it will not work with USB devices; They use vendor drivers which do not support monitor mode or provide control APIs.

$ kismet

Kismet will list the available Wi-Fi sources in the Data Sources panel of the UI, or sources can be configured from the command line or the Kismet config files.

$ kismet -c en1

For more information on configuring Kismet in general, as well as logging formats and other Kismet features, be sure to check out the normal Kismet README file.

Connect to Kismet

The Kismet web UI should be accessible on the OSX system by going to http://localhost:2501 with your browser.

The first time you visit the Kismet UI you’ll be prompted to create a password and log in.