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TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols by W. Richard Stevens

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Appendix A. The tcpdump Program

The tcpdump program was written by Van Jacobson, Craig Leres, and Steven McCanne, all of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley. Version 2.2.1 (June 1992) is used in this text.

tcpdump operates by putting the network interface card into promiscuous mode so that every packet going across the wire is captured. Normally interface cards for media such as Ethernet only capture link level frames addressed to the particular interface or to the broadcast address (Section 2.2).

The underlying operating system must allow an interface to be put into promiscuous mode and let a user process capture the frames. tcpdump support is provided or can be added to the following Unix systems: 4.4BSD, BSD/386, ...

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