Build From Source on Linux

Table of contents

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Configuration
    1. Wizard mode
    2. Command-line switches mode
  3. Build the code
  4. Installation
  5. Running tests


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

  1. libpcap developers pack - contains the libpcap library PcapPlusPlus is linking with and relevant the header files. You can download it from or through the standard Linux package managers such as apt-get or yum:

     sudo apt-get install libpcap-dev


     sudo yum install libpcap-devel
  2. libstdc++-static package. If it’s not already installed you can install it using apt-get or yum

  3. OPTIONAL - download and install Zstd if you wish to enable PCAPNG streaming compression support


Run the configuration script from PcapPlusPlus main directory:


Ths script has two modes of operation:

  • Wizard mode - the script will walk you through the configuration parameters to provide
  • Params mode - provide the different parameters using command-line switches

In general there are several types of configuration:

  • With libpcap only
  • With DPDK
  • With PF_RING

Let’s cover the different options. We’ll begin with the wizard mode and later cover the params mode.

Wizard mode

This mode is pretty much self explanatory and the wizard will guide you through the parameters you need to provide:

seladb@seladb:~/PcapPlusPlus$ ./ 

PcapPlusPlus Linux configuration script 

Number of arguments: 0

Compile PcapPlusPlus with PF_RING? y
Enter PF_RING source path: /home/seladb/PF_RING
Compile PcapPlusPlus with DPDK? y
Enter DPDK source path: /home/seladb/dpdk-18.11
PcapPlusPlus configuration is complete. Files created (or modified): mk/, mk/, mk/, mk/


Command-line switches mode

You an view all available switches by running ./ --help or ./ -h:

--default use the default configuration. This assumes libpcap-dev is installed
--dpdk setup PcapPlusPlus with DPDK. When using this switch you must also set --dpdk-home
--dpdk-home set DPDK home directory. Use only when --dpdk is set
--pf-ring setup PcapPlusPlus with PF_RING. When using this switch you must also set --pf-ring-home
--pf-ring-home sets PF_RING home directory. Use only when --pf-ring is set
--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
--use-zstd use Zstd for PCAPNG streaming compression. This parameter is optional
--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:

./ --default

Configure PcapPlusPlus with DPDK:

./ --dpdk --dpdk-home /home/myuser/dpdk-18.11

Configure PcapPlusPlus with PF_RING:

./ --pf-ring --pf-ring-home /home/myuser/PF_RING

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 /home/myuser/my-libpcap/include --libpcap-lib-dir /home/myuser/my-libpcap/lib

Provide a custom installation directory:

./ --install-dir /home/myuser/my-install-dir

Use Zstd for pcapng compression:

./ --use-zstd

Build the code

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

  1. Run make or make 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 make libs instead of make 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:

seladb@seladb:~/PcapPlusPlus$ sudo make 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.