Wireshark-dev: Re: [Wireshark-dev] Need help with fragment reassembly
From: Guy Harris <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 13:39:18 -0700
On Aug 25, 2009, at 1:24 PM, [email protected] wrote:

I'm writing a dissector plugin for a protocol that supports fragmentation. I've made some good progress with dissecting the non- fragment packets, but the fragmentation reassembly not so much.
The fragment packet headers include a PDU length, a tag, and the  
offset of the current fragment in the full PDU. There is no explicit  
information as to whether a given fragment is the "last", so I am  
trying to figure out how to supply the final argument to  
So is the "PDU length" the length of the PDU to be reassembled?  If  
so, presumably the length of the fragment is also available (either  
implicitly from a containing protocol, or explicitly in the header); a  
fragment would be the "last fragment" if the fragment offset plus the  
fragment length = the length of the PDU to be reassembled.
(In that case, note that you should probably flag as an error  
fragments for a given PDU that disagree as to the length of the PDU to  
be reassembled.)
I could keep track of the fragment lengths and offsets seen so far, and calculate for myself when all fragments have been received.

The "last fragment" flag means "this fragment is the one whose content goes at the end of the reassembled packet"; it does *not* mean "this is the last piece of the puzzle - the packet is now complete", as the "last fragment" could well be the *first* fragment received (I think that, at least at one point, Linux sent the fragments of a fragmented IP datagram in *reverse* order, perhaps so that the reassembly code can see the last fragment first and know how big a buffer to initially allocate for the reassembled datagram), or could be received in the middle of the sequence of fragments.
The reassembly code knows when the puzzle is complete; you don't need  
to determine that.  You just need to determine which fragment would go  
at the end of the reassembled packet.  (I.e., "last" refers to the  
sequence of data in the packet, going from the first byte of the  
packet to the last byte, not to the sequence of packets received over  
time; it's an ordinal in space, not time.)
Also a broader question: is there a good resource for the wireshark fragmentation API?
Unfortunately, no.