This plugin provides native AF_Packet support ( for Bro.


Before installing the plugin, make sure the kernel headers are installed and your kernel supports PACKET_FANOUT [1]_ and TPACKET_V3.

Bro Package Manager ``````````````` The plugin is available as package for the Bro Package Manager <> and can be installed using the following command:

bro-pkg install bro-af_packet-plugin

To install uncompiled plugins, Bro's source code must be available to the package manager (see package manager's documentation for more information).

Manual Install `````````` The following will compile and install the AF_Packet plugin alongside Bro, assuming it can find the kernel headers in a standard location:

# ./configure && make && make install

If the headers are installed somewhere non-standard, add --with-kernel=<kernel-header-directory> to the configure command. Furthermore, --with-latest-kernel will use the latest headers available instead of looking for the headers matching the running kernel's version. If everything built and installed correctly, you should see this:

# bro -NN Bro::AF_Packet
Bro::AF_Packet - Packet acquisition via AF_Packet (dynamic, version 1.3)
[Packet Source] AF_PacketReader (interface prefix "af_packet"; supports live input)
[Type] AF_Packet::FanoutMode
[Constant] AF_Packet::buffer_size
[Constant] AF_Packet::enable_hw_timestamping
[Constant] AF_Packet::enable_fanout
[Constant] AF_Packet::fanout_mode
[Constant] AF_Packet::fanout_id


Once installed, you can use AF_Packet interfaces/ports by prefixing them with af_packet:: on the command line. For example, to use AF_Packet to monitor interface eth0:

# bro -i af_packet::eth0

To use AF_Packet, running Bro without root privileges, the Bro processes needs the CAP_NET_RAW capability. You can set it with the following command (on each sensor, after broctl install):

# setcap cap_net_raw+eip <path_to_bro>/bin/bro

The AF_Packet plugin automatically enables promiscuous mode on the interfaces. As the plugin is using PACKET_ADD_MEMBERSHIP to enter the promiscuous mode without interfering others, the PROMISC flag is not touched. To verify that the interface entered promiscuous mode you can use dmesg.

To adapt the plugin to your needs, you can set a couple of parameters like buffer size. See scripts/init.bro for the default values.

Usage with broctl

To use the AF_Packet plugin with broctl, the custom load balance method can be utilized. The following shows an exemplary configuration:



# Optional parameters for per node configuration:

If all interfaces using lb_method=custom should be configured for AF_Packet, the prefix can be globally definied by adding the following line to broctl.conf:



  • Even using AF_Packet's ETH_P_ALL, the kernel removes VLAN tags. While the tags are provided spereately, there is no efficient way to pass them to Bro.

Package Version :