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How to open more than one instance of Wireshark under OS X

asked 2019-11-20 08:35:28 +0000

-m gravatar image

I'm using a Mac and having trouble to find a possibility to open more than one instance of Wireshark at a time to compare traces e.g. A friend of mine told me that this functionality is build in since v 3.0.6, but this seems to be true only for the Windows based Wireshark version. Or, is there any parameter that needs to be tweaked to enable that feature also for Mac users ?

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answered 2019-11-20 09:24:47 +0000

NJL gravatar image

First hit from your search engine of choice:

Essentially you need to do this from a terminal or create a shortcut:

open -n /Applications/
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I was knowing this terminal based solution, as I searched for this issue already earlier.

I was searching for a Wireshark application based solution. Apparently since short it works with Windows PCs. There you just open one trace file after the other, each in a separate window.

-m gravatar image-m ( 2019-11-20 10:26:49 +0000 )edit

I doubt this is something Wireshark can solve - unless they change their code significantly and include "New Tab" or similar functionality, which I really hope they don't as the developers time can be spent on something more useful. This is just the way Mac / OS X works and you as a user can either live with it or tweak it to suit your purpose.

NJL gravatar imageNJL ( 2019-11-20 12:47:58 +0000 )edit

I would tend to agree with you NJL was this functionality not already build in into the Windows part of the Wireshark application v 3.0.6. By the way - they do not open a new tab, but just another window.

-m gravatar image-m ( 2019-11-20 14:21:28 +0000 )edit

macOS is different from other operating systems in the way it handles opening multiple files for the same application.

In Windows, and in the GUIs in various other flavors of UN*X (Solaris, *BSD, Linux, etc.), each open file has a separate process running a separate instance of the applications.

In macOS, however, all open files are handled by a single process with multiple open files.

Wireshark currently only supports having one file open per process. That's not an issue on OSes other than macOS, as they launch a separate process for each file, which is why opening multiple files isn't an issue on, for example, Windows. It is an issue on macOS, and is why opening multiple files isn't easy.

Wireshark would have to be changed to support having multiple files open in the same process to make it work on macOS. That would be a ...(more)

Guy Harris gravatar imageGuy Harris ( 2019-11-20 18:33:51 +0000 )edit

Hi Guy, Thanks for your attempt to point out the differences between macOS and other OS regarding opening a further/2nd application window of Wireshark. I understood that it seems to be no trivial change to get that working. Still I wonder how something could be difficult to implement, which can already be achieved using the command "open -n /Applications/" from the command line.

-m gravatar image-m ( 2019-11-21 06:31:39 +0000 )edit

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Asked: 2019-11-20 08:35:28 +0000

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Last updated: Nov 20