Your company here, and a link to your site. Click to find out more.

wifidump - Man Page

Provides an interface to capture Wi-Fi frames from a remote host through SSH.


wifidump--help ] [ --version ] [ --extcap-interfaces ] [ --extcap-dlts ] [ --extcap-interface=<interface> ] [ --extcap-config ] [ --extcap-capture-filter=<capture filter> ] [ --capture ] [ --fifo=<path to file or pipe> ] [ --remote-host=<IP address> ] [ --remote-port=<TCP port> ] [ --remote-username=<username> ] [ --remote-password=<password> ] [ --sshkey=<public key path> ] [ --remote-interface=<interface> ] [ --remote-channel-frequency=<channel frequency> ] [ --remote-channel-width=<channel width> ]

wifidump --extcap-interfaces

wifidump --extcap-interface=<interface> --extcap-dlts

wifidump --extcap-interface=<interface> --extcap-config

wifidump --extcap-interface=<interface> --fifo=<path to file or pipe> --capture --remote-host=myremotehost --remote-port=22 --remote-username=user --remote-interface=eth2 --remote-channel-frequency=5180 --remote-channel-width=40


Wifidump is an extcap tool that allows you to capture Wi-Fi traffic from a remote host over an SSH connection using tcpdump. The requirement to capture Wi-Fi frames is that the remote host must have the necessary binaries to manage and put the wanted interface into monitor mode. Such binaries include: ip, iw, and iwconfig. Also, because using monitor mode and managing the Wi-Fi interface requires root privileges, the system must be configured to allow the wanted user to run these binaries using sudo without entering a password.

Typically wifidump is not invoked directly. Instead it can be configured through the Wireshark graphical user interface or its command line. The following will start Wireshark and start capturing from host remotehost:

$ wireshark '-oextcap.wifidump.remotehost:remotehost' -i wifidump -k

To explicitly control the remote capture command:

$ wireshark '-oextcap.wifidump.remotehost:remotehost' \
            '-oextcap.wifidump.remotechannelfrequency:5180' \
            '-oextcap.wifidump.remotechannelwidth:40' \
            -i wifidump -k

Supported interfaces:





Print program arguments.


Print program version.


List available interfaces.


Use specified interfaces.


List DLTs of specified interface.


List configuration options of specified interface.


Start capturing from specified interface and write raw packet data to the location specified by --fifo.

--fifo=<path to file or pipe>

Save captured packet to file or send it through pipe.

--remote-host=<remote host>

The address of the remote host for capture.

--remote-port=<remote port>

The SSH port of the remote host.


The username for ssh authentication.


The password to use (if not ssh-agent and pubkey are used). WARNING: the passwords are stored in plaintext and visible to all users on this system. It is recommended to use keyfiles with a SSH agent.

--sshkey=<SSH private key path>

The path to a private key for authentication.

--remote-interface=<remote interface>

The remote network interface to capture from.

--remote-channel-frequency=<channel frequency>

The remote channel frequency in MHz.

--remote-channel-width=<channel width>

The remote channel width in MHz.

--extcap-capture-filter=<capture filter>

The capture filter. It corresponds to the value provided via the tshark -f option, and the Capture Filter field next to the interfaces list in the Wireshark interface.


To see program arguments:

wifidump --help

To see program version:

wifidump --version

To see interfaces:

wifidump --extcap-interfaces

Only one interface (wifidump) is supported.

Example output

interface {value=wifidump}{display=Wi-Fi remote capture}

To see interface DLTs:

wifidump --extcap-interface=wifidump --extcap-dlts

Example output

dlt {number=147}{name=wifidump}{display=Remote capture dependent DLT}

To see interface configuration options:

wifidump --extcap-interface=wifidump --extcap-config

Example output

arg {number=0}{call=--remote-host}{display=Remote SSH server address}{type=string}
    {tooltip=The remote SSH host. It can be both an IP address or a hostname}{required=true}{group=Server}
arg {number=1}{call=--remote-port}{display=Remote SSH server port}{type=unsigned}
    {tooltip=The remote SSH host port (1-65535)}{range=1,65535}{group=Server}
arg {number=2}{call=--remote-username}{display=Remote SSH server username}{type=string}
    {tooltip=The remote SSH username. If not provided, the current user will be used}{group=Authentication}
arg {number=3}{call=--remote-password}{display=Remote SSH server password}{type=password}
    {tooltip=The SSH password, used when other methods (SSH agent or key files) are unavailable.}{group=Authentication}
arg {number=4}{call=--sshkey}{display=Path to SSH private key}{type=fileselect}
    {tooltip=The path on the local filesystem of the private ssh key}{mustexist=true}{group=Authentication}
arg {number=5}{call=--sshkey-passphrase}{display=SSH key passphrase}{type=password}
    {tooltip=Passphrase to unlock the SSH private key}{group=Authentication}
arg {number=6}{call=--remote-interface}{display=Remote interface}{type=string}
    {tooltip=The remote network interface used to capture}{default=auto}{group=Capture}
arg {number=7}{call=--remote-channel-frequency}{display=Remote channel}{type=selector}
    {tooltip=The remote channel used to capture}{group=Capture}
arg {number=8}{call=--remote-channel-width}{display=Remote channel width}{type=selector}
    {tooltip=The remote channel width used to capture}{group=Capture}
arg {number=9}{call=--remote-filter}{display=Remote capture filter}{type=string}
    {tooltip=The remote capture filter}{group=Capture}
arg {number=10}{call=--remote-count}{display=Packets to capture}{type=unsigned}
    {tooltip=The number of remote packets to capture.}{group=Capture}
arg {number=11}{call=--log-level}{display=Set the log level}{type=selector}
    {tooltip=Set the log level}{required=false}{group=Debug}
arg {number=12}{call=--log-file}{display=Use a file for logging}{type=fileselect}
    {tooltip=Set a file where log messages are written}{required=false}{group=Debug}

To capture:

wifidump --extcap-interface=wifidump --fifo=/tmp/wifidump.pcap --capture --remote-host --remote-username user --remote-channel-frequency 5180 --remote-channel-width 40


To stop capturing CTRL+C/kill/terminate application.

The wifidump binary can be renamed to support multiple instances. For instance if we want wifidump to show up twice in wireshark (for instance to handle multiple profiles), we can copy wifidump to wifidump-host1 and wifidump-host2. Each binary will show up an interface name same as the executable name. Those executables not being "wifidump" will show up as "custom version" in the interface description.

See Also

wireshark(1), tshark(1), extcap(4), tcpdump(1)


Wifidump is part of the Wireshark distribution.  The latest version of Wireshark can be found at https://www.wireshark.org.

HTML versions of the Wireshark project man pages are available at https://www.wireshark.org/docs/man-pages.


Original Author
Adrian Granados <adrian[AT]intuitibits.com>