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bittwist -- pcap based ethernet packet generator


bittwist [ -dvh ] [ -i interface ] [ -s length ] [ -l loop ]
[ -c count ] [ -m speed ] [ -r rate ] [ -p sleep ]


This document describes the bittwist program, the pcap(3) based Ethernet packet generator.
Bittwist is designed to work under Ethernet II (IEEE 802.3) network with a MTU of up to
1500 bytes on 10Mbps (10Base-T Ethernet) or 100Mbps (Fast Ethernet) link speed. Packets
are generated from saved tcpdump(1) capture file referred to as trace file in this
document. Some familiarity with tcpdump(1) and its basic options are assumed in this
document. Since bittwist uses functions provided by pcap(3) library, e.g. pcap_open_live()
and pcap_inject(), to write packets onto the network, it may require that you have special
privileges, e.g. read access to /dev/bpf* on BSD or root access on Linux, to generate
packets or to enumerate network devices with, for example, the -d flag.

Bittwist will, if not run with the -s flag, inject each packet up to its actual length
(on-wire) instead of its captured length. If the captured length is less than the actual
length, bittwist will pad the packet with zeros up to its actual length prior to
injection. Bittwist will, if not run with the -m, -r, or -p flag, inject packets from a
trace file based on the captured intervals, in particular, the timestamp difference
between two adjacent packets, except for the first packet in a trace file, which is always
injected immediately. Bittwist is designed to not to interfere with the packet data; it
merely read a packet and inject it as is onto the network. If modification is desired
prior to injection of a packet, you can use the bittwiste(1) program, which does just


-d Print a list of network interfaces available.

-v Print timestamp for each packet.

-vv Print timestamp and hex data for each packet.

-i interface
Send pcap-file(s) out onto the network through interface.

-s length
Packet length to send. Set length to:

0 to send the actual packet length. This is the default.
-1 to send the captured length.

or any other value from 14 to 1514.

-l loop
Send pcap-file(s) out onto the network for loop times. Set loop to 0 to send pcap-
file(s) until stopped. To stop, type Control-C.

-c count
Send up to count packets. Default is to send all packets from pcap-file(s).

-m speed
Set interval multiplier to speed. Set speed to 0 or less to send the next packet
immediately. Minimum positive value for speed is 0.000001.

-r rate
Limit the sending to rate Mbps. Value for rate must be between 1 to 1000. This
option is meant to limit the maximum packet throughput. If you want to send
packets at line rate of 100Mbps, try -m 0 -r 100

-p sleep
Set interval to sleep (in seconds), ignoring the actual interval. Value for sleep
must be between 1 to 2146.

-h Print version information and usage.

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