Build From Source on FreeBSD

Table of contents

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Configuration
  3. Build the code
  4. Installation
  5. Running tests


In order to compile PcapPlusPlus on FreeBSD please make sure you have the following components installed:

  • git (if not installed please run: pkg install git)
  • gsed (if not installed please run: pkg install gsed)
  • gmake (if not installed please run: pkg install gmake)
  • libpcap (if not installed please run: pkg install libpcap)


Run the configuration script from PcapPlusPlus main directory:


This script has the following command-line switches (you can also view then by running ./ --help or ./ -h):

no switches use the default configuration
--use-immediate-mode use libpcap immediate mode which enables getting packets as fast as possible (supported on libpcap>=1.5)
--set-direction-enabled set direction for capturing incoming or outgoing packets (supported on libpcap>=0.9.1)
--install-dir set a custom installation directory. Default is /usr/local
--libpcap-include-dir libpcap header files directory. This parameter is optional and if omitted PcapPlusPlus will look for the header files in the default include paths
--libpcap-lib-dir libpcap pre compiled lib directory. This parameter is optional and if omitted PcapPlusPlus will look for the lib file in the default lib paths
-h, --help displays a help message and exits. No further actions are performed

Here are a few examples:

Default configuration:


Configure PcapPlusPlus with libpcap’s immediate mode:

./ --use-immediate-mode

Configure PcapPlusPlus with libpcap’s set direction:

./ --set-direction-enabled

Provide non-standard paths for libpcap header and library files:

./ --libpcap-include-dir /my-folder/my-libpcap/include --libpcap-lib-dir /my-folder/my-libpcap/lib

Provide a custom installation directory:

./ --install-dir /my-folder/my-install-dir

Build the code

After running the config script, you’re can safely build the code:

  1. Run gmake or gmake all from PcapPlusPlus main directory
  2. This should compile all libraries, unit-tests and examples
  3. To build the libraries only (without the unit-tests and examples) run gmake libs instead of gmake all
  4. After compilation you can find the libraries, examples, header files and helpful makefiles under the Dist directory


After build is complete you can run the installation script which will copy the library and header files to the installation directory:

$ sudo gmake install
Installation complete!

The default installation directory is /usr/local which means the header files will be copied to /usr/local/include/pcapplusplus and the library files will be copied to /usr/local/lib.

You can change the installation directory by using the --install-dir switch in the configuration script.

Running tests

PcapPlusPlus contains a set of test-cases you can run to make sure that everything works correctly on your system. This guide contains detailed instructions on how to run them.