5.8. libpcap or Npcap (Optional, But Strongly Recommended)

Libpcap and Npcap provide the packet capture capabilities that are central to Wireshark’s core functionality.

Unix: libpcap

If this library isn’t already installed or available as a package for your platform, you can get it at https://www.tcpdump.org/.

Windows: Npcap

The Windows build environment compiles and links against a libpcap SDK built using vcpkg and includes the Npcap packet capture driver with the .exe installer. Both are automatically downloaded by CMake.

You can download the Npcap Windows packet capture library manually from https://npcap.com/.

[Warning]Npcap has its own license with its own restrictions

Insecure.Com LLC, aka “The Nmap Project” has granted the Wireshark Foundation the right to include Npcap with the installers that we distribute from wireshark.org. If you wish to distribute your own Wireshark installer or any other package that includes Npcap you must comply with the Npcap license and may be required to purchase a redistribution license. Please see https://npcap.com/ for more details.