5. dpdk-dumpcap Application

The dpdk-dumpcap tool is a Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) network traffic dump tool. The interface is similar to the dumpcap tool in Wireshark. It runs as a secondary DPDK process and lets you capture packets that are coming into and out of a DPDK primary process. The dpdk-dumpcap writes files in Pcapng packet format.

Without any options set, it will use DPDK to capture traffic from the first available DPDK interface and write the received raw packet data, along with timestamps into a pcapng file.

If the -w option is not specified, dpdk-dumpcap writes to a newly created file with a name chosen based on interface name and timestamp. If -w option is specified, then that file is used.


  • The dpdk-dumpcap tool can only be used in conjunction with a primary application which has the packet capture framework initialized already. In DPDK, only the dpdk-testpmd is modified to initialize packet capture framework, other applications remain untouched. So, if the dpdk-dumpcap tool has to be used with any application other than the dpdk-testpmd, user needs to explicitly modify that application to call packet capture framework initialization code. Refer app/test-pmd/testpmd.c code to see how this is done.
  • The dpdk-dumpcap tool runs as a DPDK secondary process. It exits when the primary application exits.

5.1. Running the Application

To list interfaces available for capture, use --list-interfaces.

To filter packets in style of tshark, use the -f flag.

To capture on multiple interfaces at once, use multiple -i flags.

5.2. Example

# <build_dir>/app/dpdk-dumpcap --list-interfaces
0. 000:00:03.0
1. 000:00:03.1

# <build_dir>/app/dpdk-dumpcap -i 0000:00:03.0 -c 6 -w /tmp/sample.pcapng
Packets captured: 6
Packets received/dropped on interface '0000:00:03.0' 6/0

# <build_dir>/app/dpdk-dumpcap -f 'tcp port 80'
Packets captured: 6
Packets received/dropped on interface '0000:00:03.0' 10/8

5.3. Limitations

The following option of Wireshark dumpcap is not yet implemented:

  • -b|--ring-buffer – more complex file management.

The following options do not make sense in the context of DPDK.

  • -C <byte_limit> – it’s a kernel thing.
  • -t – use a thread per interface.
  • Timestamp type.
  • Link data types. Only EN10MB (Ethernet) is supported.
  • Wireless related options: -I|--monitor-mode and -k <freq>


  • The options to dpdk-dumpcap are like the Wireshark dumpcap program and are not the same as dpdk-pdump and other DPDK applications.