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Loopback capture setup

The following will explain capturing on loopback interfaces a bit.

If you are trying to capture traffic from a machine to itself, that traffic will not be sent over a real network interface, even if it's being sent to an address on one of the machine's network adapters. This means that you will not see it if you are trying to capture on, for example, the interface device for the adapter to which the destination address is assigned. You will only see it if you capture on the "loopback interface", if there is such an interface and it is possible to capture on it; see the next section for information on the platforms on which you can capture on the "loopback interface".

Supported Platforms

See [http://www.ethereal.com/media.html Ethereal: Supported Capture Media] page for Ethereal capturing support on various platforms. Summary: you can capture on the loopback interface on Linux, on various BSDs including Mac OS X, and on Digital/Tru64 UNIX, and you might be able to do it on Irix and AIX, but you definitely cannot do so on Solaris, HP-UX, or Windows.

Windows

You can't capture on the local loopback address 127.0.0.1!

You can add a virtual network card called Microsoft Loopback Adapter, but in most cases that might not give results as expected either.

This adapter is available from Microsoft:

... and is quite different than the ones available for various UN*X systems. This adapter is a virtual network adapter you can add, but it will not work on the 127.0.0.1 IP addresses; it will take its own IP address. BTW: You can only add one Loopback Adapter to the system!

/!\ Beware: Capturing from this Loopback Adapter requires the WinPcap 3.1 release, 3.1 beta versions won't work!

Let's suppose you have set the IP address of the loopback adapter to 10.0.0.10 and are capturing on that interface. If you ping to this 10.0.0.10 address the ping will get ping replies, but you won't see any of this traffic in Ethereal (much like the 127.0.0.1 problem). If you ping on 10.0.0.11, you won't get ping replies as there is obviously no remote host, but you will see the corresponding ARP requests in Ethereal.

The only benefit I can see so far is if you use it with colinux (and probably other PC virtualization software) to capture the traffic between Windows and the virtual machine. - UlfLamping