I currently use OSx Maverick, I wish to use this machine as my pen testing machine as I also prefer coding on this machine. My current pentest machine is running Kali.

Can anyone give me good tips on setting up my Mac to be my pentesting machine? and what tools you would recommend?

  • 1
    A mac? I would install a Linux distro with a good package manager.
    – rook
    Mar 14, 2015 at 17:01
  • You're better off using a kali vm on your mac..
    – KDEx
    Mar 14, 2015 at 21:03

2 Answers 2


Whichever tools you are used to using on Kali, find OS X versions for them, install and use. For appsec, Some tools like Burp Suite are platform independent as Burp runs on JAVA which i primarily use and the commercial version is reasonably priced too, OWASP ZAP, w3af, BeEf framework, Nikto etc are all available for download too. If u are referring to network pentesting, u will find NMAP pre-installed, and u can download Nessus from their website and netcat also comes pre-installed. U will find the move to OS X quite similar as i moved from Backtrack to OS X myself, most tools u are used to should be available on OS X too. Just install and go with it.

You can look at downloading metasploit here: https://community.rapid7.com/docs/DOC-1037

If there is something you are used to on other *nix system, and u cant download it for Yosemite, use :

Homebrew: http://brew.sh/ Macports https://www.macports.org/

, these will give u all the tools you seek and u can choose which ones to install. I would suggest, discovering your needs and then proceeding to download whatever you need, whenever you need it!

Good luck for your journey!

  • ahh thank you very much for this. I have used OSx for a while for my development so its just best to keep everything together. :)
    – TheHidden
    Mar 16, 2015 at 11:33
  • Glad to help :), initially i was reluctant to move to OS X but now i cant live without it for my pentesting needs! :D Mar 16, 2015 at 16:14
  • What wireless packet injecting card do you use for osx Yosemite? my AWUS036NHA will not work.
    – NDiaz
    Apr 7, 2015 at 16:58
  • For sniffing etc. u can use the inbuilt card as demonstrated here: paulbehrisch.com/cracking-wep , i used to perform wireless attacks using backtrack and alfa36h and couldnt find drivers for yosemite at the time. i just came across drivers for some alfa devices but not ur model :( , more at: webcache.googleusercontent.com/… ,i would buy the device which they have drivers for, and go from there. Apr 8, 2015 at 6:22

I would suggest VirtualBox as a solid and widely available environment to manage your pentesting virtual lab. I run OSX Mavericks with Parallels and many VMs including a Kali distro VM. Some effort is needed to configure the wlan NIC to run Wireless attacks in monitor/promiscuous mode. It is especially important to have the right driver for the right wlan chipset to run packet injections, etc.

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