F**king Kismet!

As you may have well deduced, I’m a mac boy.

I know of the command line, and I’m not scared of it, as such, but I was getting a bit miffed with instructions for getting Kismet running under Linux Mint/Ubuntu.

Essentially, every guide told you how to install Kismet, told you to edit your .conf file and then quite simply “type kismet to start”… as you can imagine, with no immeadiate correct results, I got quite irritated quite quickly!

I did get everything working, including GPS co-ordinates from gpsd and did a quick scan from the patio here in Spain, picking up about 8 networks without moving.

So, I thought about writing a how to guide for other linux noobs who have the same problems. Thing is, it *is* dead simple to get Kismet running, there’s just not much help for you for when things go wrong!

Anyway, running Linux Mint 5 on my Asus EEE, here’s what I did.

Install kismet and gpsd via Synaptic.

Edit the kismet.conf file straight away. It’s located in /etc/kismet/kismet.conf
$ sudo pico /etc/kismet/kismet.conf

You need to change the suiduser= to your user name, so mine is suiduser=jake

You most definately need to change the Source for the wifi hardware. Kismet will not run if this is wrong. There’s a list of drivers and names on the Kismet site http://www.kismetwireless.net/documentation.shtml – section 12 Capture Sources.
I’m using a Linksys WUSB54G v4 for scanning, as I plan to add an external antenna using mod. Here’s what I put in to the kismet.conf for the source…

I also set up another line for my internal Broadcom wifi adapter. I have a Dell mini pci-e fitted from when I installed Tiger on the EEE.

I swap between the two by adding a # in front of the source I’m not using.

If your card is different, you need to find the right driver from the Kismet list (rt2500 or bcm43xx in my two examples) followed by which interface they will connect via (wlan1 and wlan0). The last bit of information in the source line, the ‘name’ must be present, and as far as I know it can be anything, but if it ain’t there, Kismet isn’t running. I just used the name of each card, in lowercase, linksys and broadcom.

Since I’m using a GPS, I changed that line that asks Do we have a GPS?

And the last thing I changed is the output of the log files

If I remember rightly, that’s everything. Now we can fire up the GPS and wifi.

Start the GPS using
$ sudo gpsd -nND4 /dev/ttyUSB0
This gives us a streaming display of the GPS data, so I know it’s running! You can probably remove some of the options, but this worked for me, so I didn’t want to change anything!

Then fire up Kismet with
$ sudo kismet

This should spew out around 10-15 lines in the terminal, then clear everything in that terminal window, paint it black and throw up the wifi info about APs etc within the terminal.


Voila, we are now stumbling. Go and walk/skate/cycle/drive and see what you find. Don’t forget to up your results to wigle.net.

If you can tell me how to do something in this post better, please do, I’m very new to linux. I’ve written this to try and help people who’re like me. Computer literate, but not used to the OS.