Wi-Fi Protocol Analyzers on Linux

Wi-Fi Protocol Analyzers on Linux

By CWNP On 01/28/2008 - 9 Comments

So far, all we have is Wireshark and a hot-rodded version thereof called Airpcap by Cace Technologies.  I'd love to see some of the vendors that we've been using for some time now (e.g. AirMagnet, Wildpackets, Tamosoft, AirDefense, Network Chemistry (now Aruba), and even Fluke Networks) come out with a made-for-Linux version of their laptop-based protocol analysis software.  Why?  Because I think that Microsoft is going to bite the dust with Vista.  I hate Vista, though I've always been a big fan of XP/sp2.  Everyone I know that has used Vista hates Vista - and complains constantly.  I'm reasonably sure that Vista even has a bad case of self-loathing.  With no reasonable path forward with the Windows operating system, that leaves us poor networking junkies with two equally scary choices:

MAC or Linux

I've spoken with some vendors who have said they are considering support for MAC OSX, but no one has publicly committed to that stance.  I have asked for a version that will work on Ubuntu Desktop Linux - my favorite Linux distro because it's just like Windows XP.  Sure, it's not quite as easy as Windows to use, but that's because I'm not quite used to its idiosyncrasies yet.  Given time, it'll be just as user-friendly - and still free.

While we're waiting on these vendors to pony up a committment to Linux, I'll be playing with Codeweavers software to see if I can get some of these Windows-based protocol analyzers working without having to install Windows.  It's a long-shot, but worth testing.  If you don't have anything better to do with your time, you might also test these to see what results you get.   Don't count on my Linux prowess, because I'm just not "there" yet with Linux.  If anyone else has already done this, I'd love to hear the outcomes.

9 Responses to Wi-Fi Protocol Analyzers on Linux

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05/18/2009 at 06:37am
Prior to some practical issues, I read and learned the theory. There is a god article in wiwapia.com - [url]http://wiwapia.com/en/linux[/url] . Afterwards everything becomes easier.

02/13/2008 at 08:22am
Hi Devin,

You start your note with "all we have is Wireshark...". I'm curious, what is that you want Wireshark to do that it doesn't?

- Nick

02/05/2008 at 17:13pm
Amen brother! :)

02/05/2008 at 13:48pm
When Vista arrived we dumped our windows based laptops and went with Mac Book Pros and free open source software. KisMAC works fine for capturing wlan frames, and Wireshark works great using Mac Ports. We also use WiSPY and Eakiu on our Macs. We run Ubuntu on our desktops and OS X on our laptops, in my opinion it's the perfect combination for Network Engineers today. For remote network probes we use single-board PCs (Soakris Engineering) running Linux (CentOS 5). They have miniPCI slots so they can connect to the WLAN. Open Source tools that we use on the Soekris boxes are NTOP (great traffic analyzer), Iptraf (excellent ip monitoring tool), iperf, ifstat and iftop to name a few more. To hell with paying for crappy Windows software that require specific wlan chipsets and annual maintenance fees, there are plenty of free and stable tools available today for OS X and Linux. The most expensive tool we use is the Mac Book, but it's the best money we've ever spent on a laptop, rock solid performance and a great user experience. Coupled with the cost savings of open source tools, the little extra cost is easily justified.

02/04/2008 at 11:53am
On Vista or XP you will not be able to capture WiFi traffic (layer 1 and 2) with software tools .
You need special hardware and it's drivers .
Netmon will show you only the IP traffic and not the layers below .


02/02/2008 at 21:25pm
Great way to stir the pot Devin. Plus I love your willingness to state your opinion without reservation.

02/01/2008 at 11:32am
I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but you could always use Kismet, or buy a WiSpy from http://www.metageek.net/.

01/31/2008 at 13:31pm
Try Microsoft Netmon 3.1 with Vista. It's available for free now.

01/30/2008 at 13:56pm
To say Microsoft is going to bite the dust with Vista is very premature. I've been running Vista for over the past year and it's never posed any problems. Of course there is going to be a few software compatibility issues with any new OS, but MS is doing a good job of supporting issues.

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