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BSD Today: Using the Ethereal Network Analyzer

Aug 22, 2000, 16:54 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Warner)

[ Thanks for this link to Jeremy C. Reed, who notes that Ethereal also is available under Linux. ]

"Since our shop is mostly IBM/Microsoft, I wanted to find ways that a PC running FreeBSD might be a useful and cost effective addition to our network and current inventory of resources. In doing so, I have successfully implemented the use of an Apache web server as the server and platform of choice for a proposed intranet. I also have a fully functioning FTP server and Samba server in place. After this, I had read comments and articles from people talking about using the Ethereal Network Analyzer and decided this might be a useful utility to have."

"Quoting from "man ethereal":

Ethereal is a GUI network protocol analyzer. It lets you interactively browse packet data from a live network or from a previously saved capture file. Ethereal knows how to read libpcap capture files, including those of tcpdump. In addition, Ethereal can read capture files from Snoop (including Shomiti), LanAlyzer, uncompressed Sniffer, Microsoft's Network Monitor, AIX's IPtrace, NetXray, Sniffer Pro and Radcom's WAN/LAN analyzer."
"Some of the things we wanted to find out by running this trace were total data transfer and total time for the entire installation process. I ran a successful trace and came up with a lot of useful information like: total number of packets, total packet length, packet protocol and total time. All this information was readily displayed in Ethereal's top window. With this information, we were able to determine that the install, while dialed into our LAN remotely, would take too long and, as a result, it was decided to put the software on CD and be made available to our users for checkout."

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