Ofdissector: A way to analyze OpenFlow packets in Wireshark at Ubuntu 12.04

As you start messing around in the Software-Defined Networking area you might want to analyze OpenFlow packets in Wireshark. This post is a installation tutorial of ofdissector, a plugin to analyze OpenFlow 1.3 packets in Wireshark.

The guys from CPqD have developed a plugin called ofdissector that is capable of doing that. In this post I am going to report the troubleshooting I had to do to make it work. The main problem was to make Wireshark to be able of analyzing OF 1.3. The original installation guide is linked here.

What worked?

I started by following this tutorial and finally came up with this successful installation script :

cd  $HOME/
git clone git://github.com/mininet/mininet
mininet/util/install.sh -n3f
sudo -s
apt-get install scons
git clone https://github.com/CPqD/ofdissector    
cd ofdissector/src
export WIRESHARK=/usr/include/wireshark
scons install


The first problem I had was not being able to install ofdissector correctly. Adding the sudo -s command made things better I don’t know why exactly. But before I was having the following error:

scons: Reading SConscript files ...
### ERROR: You need to set the WIRESHARK environment variable to the
location of your wireshark include directory.
### ERROR: (such that epan/packet.h is a valid include path)

The seconde problem I had was conflicting installations of different versions of ofdissector. I installed both versions. You can avoid the problem by not installing the oldversion of ofdissector, using the following line of code instead of the wrong one:

##This is Right!!!
mininet/util/install.sh -n3f
##This is WRONG!!
mininet/util/install.sh -n3fxw
## the w option will install the wireshark plugin for OF1.0

Anyway, if you install both and fall into this problem:

 Err Duplicate protocol name "OpenFlow Protocol"! This might be caused by an inappropriate plugin or a development error.

The only thing you have to do is to remove the old openflow plugin and reinstall the new ofdissector by doing this:

sudo -s
rm -f /usr/lib/wireshark/libwireshark1/plugins/openflow.so
cd $HOME/ofdissector/src
export WIRESHARK=/usr/include/wireshark
scons install

That’s it. Feel free to report issues with the installation script.


I'm a Network Engineer with software development experiences. MSCS from Georgia Tech. CCNA certified. ONF-SDN certified.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in OpenFlow 1.3, SDN
One comment on “Ofdissector: A way to analyze OpenFlow packets in Wireshark at Ubuntu 12.04

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