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This file is an extract from the the online documentation at
What is Pcapy?
Pcapy is a Python extension module that enables software written in
Python to access the routines from the pcap packet capture library.
From libpcap's documentation: "Libpcap is a system-independent
interface for user-level packet capture. Libpcap provides a portable
framework for low-level network monitoring. Applications include
network statistics collection, security monitoring, network debugging,
What makes pcapy different from the others?
* works with Python threads.
* works both in UNIX with libpcap and Windows with WinPcap.
* provides a simpler Object Oriented API.
Getting Pcapy
Current and past releases are available from
Quick start
Grab the latest stable release, unpack it and run 'python
install' from the directory where you placed it. Isn't that easy?
* A Python interpreter. Versions 2.1.3 and newer are known to work.
* A C++ compiler. GCC G++ 2.95, as well as Microsoft Visual Studio
6.0, are known to work.
* Libpcap 0.7.2 or newer. Windows user are best to check WinPcap 3.0
or newer.
* A recent release of Pcapy.
Compiling the source and installing
As this extension is written in C++ it needs to be compiled for the
host system before it can be accessed from Python. Fortunately this
process has been made easy by the script. In order to compile
and install the source execute the following command from the
directory where the pcapy's distribution has been unpacked: 'python install'. This will install the extension into the default
Python's modules path; note that you might need special permissions to
write there. For more information on what commands and options are
available from, run 'python --help-commands'.
This extension has been tested under Linux and Windows 2000 systems
and is known to work there, but it ought to work out-of-the-box on any
system where Python and libpcap are available.
This software is provided under under a slightly modified version of
the Apache Software License. See the accompanying LICENSE file for
more information.
Contact Us
Whether you want to report a bug, send a patch or give some
suggestions on this package, drop us a few lines at
$Id: README,v 1.3 2003/10/27 17:45:51 jkohen Exp $