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Introduction

libpcap/WinPcap is the user-mode interface to a kernel-mode network packet capture driver for Linux, OS X and Windows operating systems.

RB-PCAP is a libpcap/winpcap binding for Realbasic and Xojo ("classic" framework) projects.

RB-PCAP demo on Windows

This screen shot depicts the RB-PCAP demo running under Windows 7.

Synopsis

This project supplies several object classes for dealing with different aspects of the libpcap/WinPcap api.

Object Class Comment
Adaptor A local network adaptor that can be opened for packet capture.
Capture A packet capture operation. Either "online" (from a network adaptor) or "offline" (from a PCAP file.)
DumpFile A standard PCAP file to write packets to.
Filter A Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) program that is compiled from a high-level filtering expression.
Packet A single Internet packet, as captured from an Adaptor or PCAP file.

Use PCAP.GetCaptureDevice to get an instance of Adaptor for the local interface you want to capture from. Then, pass the Adaptor to PCAP.BeginCapture to start capturing packets. You may also read from a standard PCAP file by passing the file as a FolderItem to PCAP.OpenCapture.

Example

This example captures 64KB of filtered packets from a local network adaptor and saves them to a standard PCAP file on the user's desktop.

  ' get the first available device
  Dim iface As PCAP.Adaptor = PCAP.GetCaptureDevice(0)
  ' open the device
  Dim capture As PCAP.Capture = PCAP.BeginCapture(iface)
  ' create a file to write packets to
  Dim dumpfile As PCAP.DumpFile = PCAP.DumpFile.Create(capture, SpecialFolder.Desktop.Child("test.pcap"))
  
  ' create a filter program
  Dim expression As String = "host example.com and port 80 and tcp"
  Dim filter As PCAP.Filter = PCAP.Filter.Compile(expression, capture)
  
  If filter <> Nil Then
    ' assign the filter to the capture
    capture.CurrentFilter = filter
    ' begin reading packets from the capture buffer
    Do Until capture.EOF Or dumpfile.Position > 1024 * 64
      'wait for next packet or timeout
      Dim p As PCAP.Packet = capture.ReadNext()
      If p <> Nil Then
        ' a packet was received before timeout
        ' write it to the file
        dumpfile.WritePacket(p)
      End If
    Loop
    
  Else
    ' invalid expression
    MsgBox(PCAP.Filter.LastCompileError)
  End If
  
  dumpfile.Close
  capture.Close

How to incorporate RB-PCAP into your Realbasic/Xojo project

Import the PCAP module

  1. Download the RB-PCAP project either in ZIP archive format or by cloning the repository with your git client.
  2. Open the RB-PCAP project in REALstudio or Xojo. Open your project in a separate window.
  3. Copy the PCAP module into your project and save.

Caution: When running PCAP code in the Xojo debugger you must take care to allow the application to terminate normally, even if an exception is raised. Termination from the debugger prevents Destructor methods from running which can leave the PCAP driver in an inconsistent state!

Ensure the PCAP driver is installed

PCAP is not installed by default on most systems, and will need to be installed separately. On Windows you can use either WinPcap (older, unmaintained) or Npcap (newer, actively maintained.) Npcap will be used if it is available and if the PCAP.USE_NPCAP constant is set to True.

RB-PCAP will raise a PlatformNotSupportedException when used if all required DLLs/SOs/DyLibs are not available at runtime.

Additionally, on most Unix-like systems you must run the app with root privileges in order to capture packets from a local adaptor.

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A Realbasic and Xojo binding to libpcap&WinPcap/Npcap

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