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DRIFTNET(1) General Commands Manual DRIFTNET(1)


driftnet - capture images from network traffic and display them in an X window; optionally, capture audio streams and play them.


driftnet [options] [filter code]


Driftnet watches network traffic, and picks out and displays JPEG and GIF images for display. It is an horrific invasion of privacy and shouldn't be used by anyone anywhere. It has been described as `a graphical tcpdump(8)', `EtherPeg for Unix', and called all sorts of nasty names by people on Freshmeat. It is also possible to use driftnet to capture MPEG audio data from the network and play it through a player such as mpg123(1).

Images may be saved by clicking on them.


Print a summary of usage.
Print additional details of packets captured to the terminal.
Beep when a new image is displayed.
Listen to packets on interface. By default, driftnet will try to pick up traffic on all interfaces, but this does not work with all versions of pcap(3); on such systems, an interface must be specified. On some systems, driftnet can only use promiscuous mode if an interface is specified.
Instead of listening on an interface, read captured packets from a pcap(3); dump file; file can be a named pipe for use with Kismet or similar.
Do not put the interface into promiscuous mode.
Operate in `adjunct mode', where driftnet gathers images for use by another program, such as Jamie Zawinski's webcollage. In this mode, no window is displayed; images are captured and saved in a temporary directory, and their names written on standard output.
In adjunct mode, silently drop images if there are more than number in the temporary directory. It is assumed that another process will delete images which it has processed.
The filename prefix to use when saving images, by default `driftnet-'.
Use directory to store temporary files. Driftnet will clear this directory of its own temporary files on exit, but will not delete the directory or any other files.
Attempt to capture streamed audio data from the network, and either play it or, in adjunct mode, save it in files. At present this only works with MPEG data.
Capture streamed audio data only, ignoring images.
Use the named command to play MPEG audio data. The command, which is executed using the shell, should accept MPEG frames on standard input. The default is `mpg123 -'.
Drop privileges to user username after starting pcap.
List the system capture interfaces.
Put the interface in monitor mode (not supported on all interfaces).
Enable GTK display (this is the default).
Enable the HTTP server to display images.
Port number for the HTTP server (implies -w). Default: 9090.
Additional filter code to restrict the packets captured, in the libpcap syntax. User filter code is evaluated as `tcp and (filter code)'.


tcpdump(8), pcap(3), webcollage(1), mpg123(1),,,


Chris Lightfoot <>
David Suárez <>


Driftnet, version 1.3.0.
$Id:,v 1.7 2004/04/26 14:42:36 chris Exp $


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.