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Can we freely distribute customized wireshark windows installer with npcap?

asked 2019-12-26 06:02:54 +0000

Dorababu gravatar image

updated 2019-12-26 06:03:37 +0000

We use our own plugin in Wireshark. Recently we recompiled our plugin to work with new Wireshark. But what we got to know that new wireshark uses Npcap instead of WinPcap support is now very limited. Our target systems are Windows Server 2012/R2/Windows 2016/Windows 10

We want to distribute the customized Wireshark to our customers, but this link point to some restrictions:- Also we tried using Win10Pcap ( but didn’t worked for us and code also seems to be 4 years old.

Our concern is:- Can we freely distribute Npcap for commercial purposes? If not does using Npcap with Wireshark involves any licence and how to obtain that? Is there a way of using Winpcap so that it works with latest Wireshark and supports Windows Server 2012/R2/Windows 2016/Windows 10?

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answered 2019-12-26 07:31:54 +0000

grahamb gravatar image

Yes, npcap has a licence restriction on redistribution. This is done to allow funding of pcap support.

Your choices seem to be:

  1. Submit your dissector to the Wireshark project where it will be maintained by the project team and distributed for all to access. Note that as you are already distributing to customers, the source code of your plugin should be available to those customers under the Wireshark (GPL 2.0 or later) licence.
  2. Obtain an npcap distribution licence from nmap (as detailed in the ncap licence).
  3. Modify your copy of the Wireshark installer to not include npcap, and request your customers download and install their own copy of npcap (as suggested in the npcap licence).
  4. Modify your copy of the Wireshark installer to install WinPcap which works on all those OS's you have listed. Note that any support and development for WinPcap ended many years ago. At some point, MS changes to Windows may stop it working.
  5. Do something else with other random unsupported Windows capture libraries, e.g. Win10PCap.
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Asked: 2019-12-26 06:02:54 +0000

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Last updated: Dec 26 '19