Free Wireshark Training Course Online

Take a free Wireshark Jumpstart training class online at

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ethereal is Dead!

Gerald Combs created Ethereal over 11 years ago when his boss wouldn't buy him a brand spanking new Sniffer box - something about budgets and all... so Gerald told his Sniffer rep that he was going to write his own packet sniffing tool. While that Sniffer rep was still rolling around laughing, Gerald started working on Ethereal.

The name? Yeah - the name Ethereal was always an issue - how do you pronounce it? Ethereal (
play wav) or Ethereal (play wav)? Many a late night has been spent huddled over pizzas in the cabling closet debating that issue. The answer - Ethereal (play wa


It surprises me to find many folks haven't moved up to Wireshark - it is, after all, the successor to Ethereal. The same developers, the same creator, the same base code set, the same development directory structure. I can only assume those folks also have 8-track tape players and beam with pride when talking about their 'vinyl collection.

For fun, I went to visit the old eth website - I thought the old Ethereal website was taken down ages ago, but imagine that NIS is still reaping some benefit from all the misguided hits. Looking at the stats in Alexa was pretty interesting - you can see the dramatic move to Wireshark at the end of the first quarter of 2008 - but what the heck is happening with in 2009?

Why are people still even hitting that site? Is everyone writing a blog entry about 'dead' software projects? Did some of my old articles and courses get reissued? Who are these Neanderthals walking among us?

It's time to upgrade to Wireshark folks. Wireshark v1.2.1 was released just a few weeks ago and fixed numerous bugs in the v1.2 release. There are still a few uglies in there, but would you rather be in a car that has a window that slowly rolls up or take a bicycle on that long drive along the network analysis road?

So perhaps today is the day to throw away those old bell bottom jeans and that mood ring (and perhaps dump those Shaper Image gift cards and Clear cards
as well).

Come on - get with the times! Oh... one more thing - and you pronounce Wireshark like this (
play mp3).

Enjoy life one bit at a time!