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Friday, June 12, 2009

Wireshark v1.2 Enhancements

In this week's newsletter I got carried away with details about the next version of Wireshark - it almost became a book. This blog details some of the enhancements in Wireshark v1.2.

One of the hot features that many will be thrilled about is auto-completion of display filters! HALLELUJAH! Bad typicsts rejoice (I meant to make that mistake...). Type in "i" and possible filters are shown in a drop-down list. Add a "p" and a period ("ip.") and all the possible variations of filters starting with "ip." show up. This is going to save us all a lot of time!

I already talked a bit about the GeoIP stuff in the Newletter and I'll be blogging/teaching about this a bit in the coming weeks.

There are a few changes that might sneak up on you - for example, in the Expert Info Composite area, "Window is Zero" and "Window Full" have moved to Warnings, but "Retransmissions" was not moved over - "Fast Retransmissions" are already in the Warnings area. It would be nice to have both types of retransmissions in the same window. We do now have the individual item count as well as the summary count in the tabs now, which is really nice.

There were some usability enhancements as well. For example, Wireshark v1.2 now remembers you column widths and opens up with the last configuration profile you used (watch out for this one if you're accustomed to always starting with the default profile and having to switch over).

As far as bug fixes go, the NetFlow dissector bug that could "run off with your dog, crash your truck, and write a country music song about the experience" has been fixed. No kidding - that is in the 1.2 rc1 release notes from Gerald.

Something that you may not take advantage of quite yet (but we'll cover in future newletters and online training over at is the new support for pcap-ng, the next-generation capture file format. These trace files typically end in the extension .ntar, but the recommended extension is .pcapng. This new trace file will enable us to add metadata to our trace files.

Again... the developers did a great job with this version - kudos to them all!

I'll be moving over to the new version of Wireshark for all the courses as soon as the "official" release is completed. Register for a course today!

Note: [25% Discount Code: bcbsab - use for the new Wireshark Command-Line Tools: From Editcap to Tshark - July 13, 2009 @ 10:00AM PDT/GMT-7

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