Skip to content

PcapPlusPlus is a multiplatform C++ library for capturing, parsing and crafting of network packets. It is designed to be efficient, powerful and easy to use. It provides C++ wrappers for the most popular packet processing engines such as libpcap, Npcap, WinPcap, DPDK, AF_XDP and PF_RING.


Notifications You must be signed in to change notification settings


PcapPlusPlus Logo

GitHub Workflow Status Cirrus CI - Base Branch Build Status GitHub Workflow Status Codecov OpenSSF Scorecard GitHub contributors

Twitter Follow GitHub Repo stars

PcapPlusPlus is a multiplatform C++ library for capturing, parsing and crafting of network packets. It is designed to be efficient, powerful and easy to use.

PcapPlusPlus enables decoding and forging capabilities for a large variety of network protocols. It also provides easy to use C++ wrappers for the most popular packet processing engines such as libpcap, WinPcap, Npcap, DPDK, eBPF AF_XDP and PF_RING.

Table Of Contents


You can choose between downloading from GitHub release page, use a package manager or build PcapPlusPlus yourself. For more details please visit the Download page in PcapPlusPlus web-site.

GitHub all releases

GitHub Release Page


brew install pcapplusplus

Homebrew formulae:



.\vcpkg install pcapplusplus


vcpkg install pcapplusplus

Vcpkg port:


conan install "pcapplusplus/[>0]@" -u

The package in ConanCenter:

Build It Yourself

Clone the git repository:

git clone

Follow the build instructions according to your platform in the Build From Source page in PcapPlusPlus web-site.

Feature Overview

  • Packet capture through an easy to use C++ wrapper for popular packet capture engines such as libpcap, WinPcap, Npcap, Intel DPDK, eBPF AF_XDP, ntop’s PF_RING and raw sockets [Learn more]
  • Packet parsing and crafting including detailed analysis of protocols and layers, packet generation and packet edit for a large variety of network protocols [Learn more]
  • Read and write packets from/to files in both PCAP and PCAPNG formats [Learn more]
  • Packet processing in line rate through an efficient and easy to use C++ wrapper for DPDK, eBPF AF_XDP and PF_RING [Learn more]
  • Multiplatform support - PcapPlusPlus is fully supported on Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android and FreeBSD
  • Packet reassembly - unique implementation of TCP Reassembly which includes TCP retransmission, out-of-order TCP packets and missing TCP data, and IP Fragmentation and Defragmentation to create and reassemble IPv4 and IPv6 fragments [Learn more]
  • Packet filtering that makes libpcap's BPF filters a lot more user-friendly [Learn more]
  • TLS Fingerprinting - a C++ implementation of JA3 and JA3S TLS fingerprinting [Learn more]

Getting Started

Writing applications with PcapPlusPlus is very easy and intuitive. Here is a simple application that shows how to read a packet from a PCAP file and parse it:

#include <iostream>
#include "IPv4Layer.h"
#include "Packet.h"
#include "PcapFileDevice.h"

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
    // open a pcap file for reading
    pcpp::PcapFileReaderDevice reader("1_packet.pcap");
    if (!
        std::cerr << "Error opening the pcap file" << std::endl;
        return 1;

    // read the first (and only) packet from the file
    pcpp::RawPacket rawPacket;
    if (!reader.getNextPacket(rawPacket))
        std::cerr << "Couldn't read the first packet in the file" << std::endl;
        return 1;

    // parse the raw packet into a parsed packet
    pcpp::Packet parsedPacket(&rawPacket);

    // verify the packet is IPv4
    if (parsedPacket.isPacketOfType(pcpp::IPv4))
        // extract source and dest IPs
        pcpp::IPv4Address srcIP = parsedPacket.getLayerOfType<pcpp::IPv4Layer>()->getSrcIPv4Address();
        pcpp::IPv4Address destIP = parsedPacket.getLayerOfType<pcpp::IPv4Layer>()->getDstIPv4Address();

        // print source and dest IPs
        std::cout << "Source IP is '" << srcIP << "'; Dest IP is '" << destIP << "'" << std::endl;

    // close the file

    return 0;

You can find much more information in the Getting Started page in PcapPlusPlus web-site. This page will walk you through few easy steps to have an app up and running.

API Documentation

PcapPlusPlus consists of 3 libraries:

  1. Packet++ - a library for parsing, creating and editing network packets
  2. Pcap++ - a library for intercepting and sending packets, providing network and NIC info, stats, etc. It is actually a C++ wrapper for packet capturing engines such as libpcap, WinPcap, Npcap, DPDK and PF_RING
  3. Common++ - a library with some common code utilities used by both Packet++ and Pcap++

You can find an extensive API documentation in the API documentation section in PcapPlusPlus web-site. If you see any missing data please contact us.

Multi Platform Support

PcapPlusPlus is currently supported on Windows , Linux , MacOS , Android and FreeBSD . Please visit PcapPlusPlus web-site to see all of the supported platforms and refer to the Download section to start using PcapPlusPlus on your platform.

Supported Network Protocols

PcapPlusPlus currently supports parsing, editing and creation of packets of the following protocols:

Data Link Layer (L2)

  1. Ethernet II
  2. IEEE 802.3 Ethernet
  3. LLC (Only BPDU supported)
  4. Null/Loopback
  5. Packet trailer (a.k.a footer or padding)
  6. PPPoE
  7. SLL (Linux cooked capture)
  8. SLL2 (Linux cooked capture v2)
  9. STP
  10. VLAN
  11. VXLAN
  12. Wake on LAN (WoL)
  13. NFLOG (Linux Netfilter NFLOG) - parsing only (no editing capabilities)

Network Layer (L3)

  1. ARP
  2. GRE
  3. ICMP
  4. ICMPv6
  5. IGMP (IGMPv1, IGMPv2 and IGMPv3 are supported)
  6. IPv4
  7. IPv6
  8. MPLS
  9. NDP
  10. Raw IP (IPv4 & IPv6)
  11. VRRP (IPv4 & IPv6)

Transport Layer (L4)

  1. COTP
  2. GTP (v1)
  3. IPSec AH & ESP - parsing only (no editing capabilities)
  4. TCP
  5. TPKT
  6. UDP

Session Layer (L5)

  1. SDP
  2. SIP

Presentation Layer (L6)

  1. SSL/TLS - parsing only (no editing capabilities)

Application Layer (L7)

  1. ASN.1 decoder and encoder
  2. BGP (v4)
  3. DHCP
  4. DHCPv6
  5. DNS
  6. FTP
  7. HTTP headers (request & response)
  8. LDAP
  9. NTP (v3, v4)
  10. Radius
  11. S7 Communication (S7comm)
  12. SMTP
  13. SOME/IP
  14. SSH - parsing only (no editing capabilities)
  15. Telnet - parsing only (no editing capabilities)
  16. Generic payload

DPDK And PF_RING Support

The Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) is a set of data plane libraries and network interface controller drivers for fast packet processing.

PF_RING™ is a new type of network socket that dramatically improves the packet capture speed.

Both frameworks provide very fast packets processing (up to line speed) and are used in many network applications such as routers, firewalls, load balancers, etc. PcapPlusPLus provides a C++ abstraction layer over DPDK & PF_RING. This abstraction layer provides an easy to use interface that removes a lot of the boilerplate involved in using these frameworks. You can learn more by visiting the DPDK & PF_RING support pages in PcapPlusPlus web-site.


We used Matias Fontanini's packet-capture-benchmarks project to compare the performance of PcapPlusPlus with other similar C++ libraries (such as libtins and libcrafter).

You can see the results in the Benchmarks page in PcapPlusPlus web-site.

Provide Feedback

We'd be more than happy to get feedback, please feel free to reach out to us in any of the following ways:

If you like this project please Star us on GitHub — it helps! ⭐ ⭐

Please visit the PcapPlusPlus web-site to learn more.


We would very much appreciate any contribution to this project. If you're interested in contributing please visit the contribution page in PcapPlusPlus web-site.


PcapPlusPlus is released under the Unlicense license.