Introduction to Wireshark

The Wireshark package contains a network protocol analyzer, also known as a “sniffer”. This is useful for analyzing data captured “off the wire” from a live network connection, or data read from a capture file. Wireshark provides both a graphical and a TTY-mode front-end for examining captured network packets from over 500 protocols, as well as the capability to read capture files from many other popular network analyzers.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.4 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

From this page you can download many different docs in a variety of formats.

Wireshark dependencies


GLib-2.36.4 (to build the TTY-mode front-end only)

Note that if you don't have Gtk+ installed, you will need to pass --disable-wireshark to the configure command.



pkg-config-0.28, GTK+-2.24.20 or GTK+-3.8.4 (to build the GUI front-end), OpenSSL-1.0.1e, MIT Kerberos V5-1.11.3, Python-2.7.5, PCRE-8.33, GnuTLS-3.2.4, PortAudio, GeoIP, adns, and Lua-5.1.5

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/wireshark

Kernel Configuration

The kernel must have the Packet protocol enabled for Wireshark to capture live packets from the network.

Networking support: Y
  Networking options:
    Packet: sockets monitoring interface: M or Y

If built as a module, the name is af_packet.ko.

Installation of Wireshark

Optionally, fix the description of the program in the title. The first change overwrites the default "SVN Unknown" in the title and the secong overwrites a utility script that resets the version to "unknown".

cat > svnversion.h << "EOF"
#define SVNPATH "source"

cat > make-version.pl << "EOF"

Wireshark is a very large and complex application. These instructions provide additional security measures to ensure that only trusted users are allowed to view network traffic. First, set up a system group for wireshark. As the root user:

groupadd -g 62 wireshark

Continue to install Wireshark by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/wireshark-1.10.2 &&
install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/pixmaps/wireshark &&

install -v -m644    README{,.linux} doc/README.* doc/*.{pod,txt} \
                    /usr/share/doc/wireshark-1.10.2 &&

pushd /usr/share/doc/wireshark-1.10.2 &&
   for FILENAME in ../../wireshark/*.html; do
      ln -s -v $FILENAME .
   done &&
popd &&

install -v -m644 -D wireshark.desktop \
                    /usr/share/applications/wireshark.desktop &&

install -v -m644 -D image/wsicon48.png \
                    /usr/share/pixmaps/wireshark.png &&

install -v -m644    image/*.{png,ico,xpm,bmp} \

If you downloaded any of the documentation files from the page listed in the 'Additional Downloads', install them by issuing the following commands as the root user:

install -v -m644 <Downloaded_Files> /usr/share/doc/wireshark-1.10.2

Now, set ownership and permissions of sensitive applications to only allow authorized users. As the root user:

chown -v root:wireshark /usr/bin/{tshark,dumpcap} &&
chmod -v 6550 /usr/bin/{tshark,dumpcap}

Finally, add any users to the wireshark group with usermod -a -G wireshark <username>.

Command Explanations

--enable-threads: This parameter enables the use of threads in wireshark.

--with-ssl: This parameter is required if you are linking Kerberos libraries into the build so that the OpenSSL libcrypto library is found.

--with-python: This parameter is required if you want Python bindings built.

Configuring Wireshark

Config Files

/etc/wireshark.conf and ~/.wireshark/*

Configuration Information

Though the default configuration parameters are very sane, reference the configuration section of the Wireshark User's Guide for configuration information. Most of Wireshark's configuration can be accomplished using the menu options of the wireshark graphical interface.



If you want to look at packets, make sure you don't filter them out with Iptables-1.4.20. If you want to exclude certain classes of packets, it is more efficient to do it with iptables than it is with Wireshark.


Installed Programs: capinfos, dftest, dumpcap, editcap, idl2wrs, mergecap, randpkt, rawshark, text2pcap, tshark, and wireshark
Installed Libraries: libwireshark.so, libwiretap.so, libwsutil.so, and numerous plugin modules
Installed Directories: /usr/lib/wireshark, /usr/share/doc/wireshark-1.10.2, /usr/share/pixmaps/wireshark, and /usr/share/wireshark

Short Descriptions


reads a saved capture file and returns any or all of several statistics about that file. It is able to detect and read any capture supported by the Wireshark package.


is a display-filter-compiler test program.


is a network traffic dump tool. It lets you capture packet data from a live network and write the packets to a file.


edits and/or translates the format of capture files. It knows how to read libpcap capture files, including those of tcpdump, Wireshark and other tools that write captures in that format.


takes a user specified CORBA IDL file and generates “C” source code that can be used to create an Wireshark plugin.


combines multiple saved capture files into a single output file.


creates random-packet capture files.


dump and analyze raw libpcap data.


reads in an ASCII hex dump and writes the data described into a libpcap-style capture file.


is a TTY-mode network protocol analyzer. It lets you capture packet data from a live network or read packets from a previously saved capture file.


is a GUI network protocol analyzer. It lets you interactively browse packet data from a live network or from a previously saved capture file.


contains functions used by the Wireshark programs to perform filtering and packet capturing.


is a library being developed as a future replacement for libpcap, the current standard Unix library for packet capturing. For more information, see the README file in the source wiretap directory.

Last updated on 2013-09-11 12:10:25 -0700