Chapter 40. Capturing network packets

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To debug network issues and communications, you can capture network packets. The following sections provide instructions and additional information about capturing network packets.

40.1. Using xdpdump to capture network packets including packets dropped by XDP programs

The xdpdump utility captures network packets. Unlike the tcpdump utility, xdpdump uses an extended Berkeley Packet Filter(eBPF) program for this task. This enables xdpdump to also capture packets dropped by Express Data Path (XDP) programs. User-space utilities, such as tcpdump, are not able to capture these dropped packages, as well as original packets modified by an XDP program.

You can use xdpdump to debug XDP programs that are already attached to an interface. Therefore, the utility can capture packets before an XDP program is started and after it has finished. In the latter case, xdpdump also captures the XDP action. By default, xdpdump captures incoming packets at the entry of the XDP program.


On other architectures than AMD and Intel 64-bit, the xdpdump utility is provided as a Technology Preview only. Technology Preview features are not supported with Red Hat production Service Level Agreements (SLAs), might not be functionally complete, and Red Hat does not recommend using them for production. These previews provide early access to upcoming product features, enabling customers to test functionality and provide feedback during the development process.

See Technology Preview Features Support Scope on the Red Hat Customer Portal for information about the support scope for Technology Preview features.

Note that xdpdump has no packet filter or decode capabilities. However, you can use it in combination with tcpdump for packet decoding.


  • A network driver that supports XDP programs.
  • An XDP program is loaded to the enp1s0 interface. If no program is loaded, xdpdump captures packets in a similar way tcpdump does, for backward compatibility.


  1. To capture packets on the enp1s0 interface and write them to the /root/capture.pcap file, enter:

    # xdpdump -i enp1s0 -w /root/capture.pcap
  2. To stop capturing packets, press Ctrl+C.

Additional resources

  • xdpdump(8) man page
  • If you are a developer and you are interested in the source code of xdpdump, download and install the corresponding source RPM (SRPM) from the Red Hat Customer Portal.

40.2. Additional resources

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