Compiling and Running Kismet on Windows 10

With the introduction of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), it’s now possible to run the Kismet server on a Win10 system.

There is one major caveat: Kismet will not be able to capture packets from your local Wi-Fi interface. You must use a remote Kismet capture source - this could be a Linux system, or an embedded capture device like a Wi-Fi Pineapple Tetra or another simple OpenWRT or LEDE device.

Why would I want to do this?

The main advantage of running Kismet in the WSL is to leverage the full capabilities of your Win10 device, while capturing from a super-lightweight capture device like a Tetra, other OpenWRT, or even Raspberry Pi class device.

Pre-Req 1: Windows 10

The WSL only exists for Windows 10; this is not possible under Windows 8 or 9.

Pre-Req 2: Activate and install the WSL

You will need to activate the WSL system, and then install a Linux distribution, as per the instructions at:

The choice of distribution to install is up to you; Ubuntu is the most logical choice as it is known to have compatibility with Kismet.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, along with other versions (Kali, for example), is available directly from the Windows Store:

Install dependencies

You’ll need many of the dependencies Kismet needs to compile; you could install them all, but at a minimum you need to update the Ubuntu systems package lists and install:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install build-essential libmicrohttpd-dev git libpcap-dev libsqlite3-dev

Check out Kismet

As you would on Linux:

$ git clone

Configure and compile

$ cd kismet
$ ./configure
$ make


Install - there’s no reason to install as suidroot here since we will not be locally managing interfaces.

$ sudo make install

Configure for remote capture

Check the Kismet main README file for more information on configuring remote capture; you can configure it to allow connections from remote sources, OR you can use a tool like ssh to tunnel a remote capture secure.

Launch Kismet

Run Kismet like you would on Linux:

$ kismet

or, without logging,

$ kismet -n

Visit the Kismet server via the browser

Open your browser and go to http://localhost:2501 to reach the Kismet server.

The password to the server will be automatically generated the first time Kismet starts. You can find the password in the WSL filesystem under ~/.kismet/kismet_httpd.conf.

Fire up some remote captures

Fire up some remote captures (consult the main Kismet README for more info) and point them at your new server, and watch the packets come in!