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Wireshark recipe to capture packets from the command line

August 29th, 2007 · No Comments · howto, information security, wireshark

Wireshark is a great utility for doing packet capture and analysis. It is an open source suite of applications that evolved from the ethereal project. My friend Angela Orebaugh has written comprehensive books on both Wireshark and Ethereal (I recommend them both!).

Sometimes while troubleshooting, it is necessary to run packet captures as part of an automated process. For example, you want to debug the network behavior of an application that runs at 1:15am. It would be really handy to have a way to run wireshark from a shell script or batch file. Enter tshark!

Tshark (text {wire}shark) is a command line version of wireshark. Here are a tshark few recipes I’ve used in the past:

tshark -i 4 (capture packets from interface #4 and print headers to STDOUT)

tshark -i4 -w output.cap (capture packets to the file output.cap)

tshark -i 4 -b files:10 -b filesize:9999 -w output.cap (capture packets in a ringbuffer of 10 files, each up to 9.9 MBytes)

Free the packets! :)


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