Chapter 4. Capturing Live Network Data

Table of Contents

4.1. Introduction
4.2. Prerequisites
4.3. Start Capturing
4.4. The “Capture” Section Of The Welcome Screen
4.5. The “Capture Options” Dialog Box
4.6. The “Manage Interfaces” Dialog Box
4.7. The “Compiled Filter Output” Dialog Box
4.8. Capture files and file modes
4.9. Link-layer header type
4.10. Filtering while capturing
4.10.1. Automatic Remote Traffic Filtering
4.11. While a Capture is running …​
4.11.1. Stop the running capture
4.11.2. Restart a running capture

4.1. Introduction

Capturing live network data is one of the major features of Wireshark.

The Wireshark capture engine provides the following features:

  • Capture from different kinds of network hardware such as Ethernet or 802.11.
  • Simultaneously capture from multiple network interfaces.
  • Stop the capture on different triggers such as the amount of captured data, elapsed time, or the number of packets.
  • Simultaneously show decoded packets while Wireshark is capturing.
  • Filter packets, reducing the amount of data to be captured. See Section 4.10, “Filtering while capturing”.
  • Save packets in multiple files while doing a long term capture, optionally rotating through a fixed number of files (a “ringbuffer”). See Section 4.8, “Capture files and file modes”.

The capture engine still lacks the following features:

  • Stop capturing (or perform some other action) depending on the captured data.