1.2. System Requirements

The amount of resources Wireshark needs depends on your environment and on the size of the capture file you are analyzing. The values below should be fine for small to medium-sized capture files no more than a few hundred MB. Larger capture files will require more memory and disk space.

[Note]Busy networks mean large captures

A busy network can produce huge capture files. Capturing on even a 100 megabit network can produce hundreds of megabytes of capture data in a short time. A computer with a fast processor, and lots of memory and disk space is always a good idea.

If Wireshark runs out of memory it will crash. See https://wiki.wireshark.org/KnownBugs/OutOfMemory for details and workarounds.

Although Wireshark uses a separate process to capture packets, the packet analysis is single-threaded and won’t benefit much from multi-core systems.

1.2.1. Microsoft Windows

Wireshark should support any version of Windows that is still within its extended support lifetime. At the time of writing this includes Windows 10, 8, 7, Server 2019, Server 2016, Server 2012 R2, Server 2012, and Server 2008 R2. It also requires the following:

  • The Universal C Runtime. This is included with Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 and is installed automatically on earlier versions if Microsoft Windows Update is enabled. Otherwise you must install KB2999226 or KB3118401.
  • Any modern 64-bit AMD64/x86-64 or 32-bit x86 processor.
  • 500 MB available RAM. Larger capture files require more RAM.
  • 500 MB available disk space. Capture files require additional disk space.
  • Any modern display. 1280 × 1024 or higher resolution is recommended. Wireshark will make use of HiDPI or Retina resolutions if available. Power users will find multiple monitors useful.
  • A supported network card for capturing

Older versions of Windows which are outside Microsoft’s extended lifecycle support window are no longer supported. It is often difficult or impossible to support these systems due to circumstances beyond our control, such as third party libraries on which we depend or due to necessary features that are only present in newer versions of Windows such as hardened security or memory management.

  • Wireshark 2.2 was the last release to support Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (non-R2)
  • Wireshark 1.12 was the last release branch to support Windows Server 2003.
  • Wireshark 1.10 was the last release branch to officially support Windows XP.

See the Wireshark release lifecycle page for more details.

1.2.2. UNIX / Linux

Wireshark runs on most UNIX and UNIX-like platforms including macOS and Linux. The system requirements should be comparable to the Windows values listed above.

Binary packages are available for most Unices and Linux distributions including the following platforms:

  • Alpine Linux
  • Apple macOS
  • Canonical Ubuntu
  • Debian GNU/Linux
  • FreeBSD
  • Gentoo Linux
  • HP-UX
  • Mandriva Linux
  • NetBSD
  • OpenPKG
  • Oracle Solaris
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux / CentOS / Fedora

If a binary package is not available for your platform you can download the source and try to build it. Please report your experiences to wireshark-dev[AT]wireshark.org.