Wireshark supports limiting the packet capture to packets that match a capture filter. Wireshark capture filters are written in libpcap filter language. Below is a brief overview of the libpcap filter language’s syntax. Complete documentation can be found at the pcap-filter man page. You can find many Capture Filter examples at https://wiki.wireshark.org/CaptureFilters.
You enter the capture filter into the “Filter” field of the Wireshark “Capture Options” dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.3, “The “Capture Options” input tab”.
A capture filter takes the form of a series of primitive expressions connected by conjunctions (and/or) and optionally preceded by not:
[not] primitive [and|or [not] primitive ...]
An example is shown in Example 4.1, “A capture filter for telnet that captures traffic to and from a particular host”.
Example 4.1. A capture filter for telnet that captures traffic to and from a particular host
A capture filter for telnet that captures traffic to and from a particular host
tcp port 23 and host 10.0.0.5
This example captures telnet traffic to and from the host 10.0.0.5, and shows how to use two primitives and the and conjunction. Another example is shown in Example 4.2, “Capturing all telnet traffic not from 10.0.0.5”, and shows how to capture all telnet traffic except that from 10.0.0.5.
Example 4.2. Capturing all telnet traffic not from 10.0.0.5
Capturing all telnet traffic not from 10.0.0.5
tcp port 23 and not src host 10.0.0.5
This primitive allows you to filter on TCP and UDP port numbers. You can optionally precede this primitive with the keywords src|dst and tcp|udp which allow you to specify that you are only interested in source or destination ports and TCP or UDP packets respectively. The keywords tcp|udp must appear before src|dst.
If these are not specified, packets will be selected for both the TCP and UDP protocols and when the specified address appears in either the source or destination port field.
If Wireshark is running remotely (using e.g. SSH, an exported X11 window, a terminal server, …), the remote content has to be transported over the network, adding a lot of (usually unimportant) packets to the actually interesting traffic.
To avoid this, Wireshark tries to figure out if it’s remotely connected (by looking at some specific environment variables) and automatically creates a capture filter that matches aspects of the connection.
The following environment variables are analyzed:
On Windows it asks the operating system if it’s running in a Remote Desktop Services environment.