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PCAP_LOOP(3)		   Library Functions Manual		  PCAP_LOOP(3)

NAME
       pcap_loop, pcap_dispatch	- process packets from a live capture or save-
       file

SYNOPSIS
       #include	<pcap/pcap.h>

       typedef void (*pcap_handler)(u_char *user, const	struct pcap_pkthdr *h,
				   const u_char	*bytes);

       int pcap_loop(pcap_t *p,	int cnt,
	       pcap_handler callback, u_char *user);
       int pcap_dispatch(pcap_t	*p, int	cnt,
	       pcap_handler callback, u_char *user);

DESCRIPTION
       pcap_loop() processes packets from a live capture or ``savefile'' until
       cnt  packets are	processed, the end of the ``savefile'' is reached when
       reading from a ``savefile'', pcap_breakloop() is	called,	 or  an	 error
       occurs.	 It does not return when live packet buffer timeouts occur.  A
       value of	-1 or 0	for cnt	is equivalent to infinity, so that packets are
       processed until another ending condition	occurs.

       pcap_dispatch()	processes  packets from	a live capture or ``savefile''
       until cnt packets are processed,	the end	of the	current	 bufferful  of
       packets	is  reached  when doing	a live capture,	the end	of the ``save-
       file'' is reached when reading from a ``savefile'', pcap_breakloop() is
       called,	or  an	error occurs.  Thus, when doing	a live capture,	cnt is
       the maximum number of packets to	process	before returning, but is not a
       minimum	number;	 when  reading	a  live	capture, only one bufferful of
       packets is read at a time, so fewer than	cnt packets may	be  processed.
       A  value	of -1 or 0 for cnt causes all the packets received in one buf-
       fer to be processed when	reading	a live capture,	 and  causes  all  the
       packets in the file to be processed when	reading	a ``savefile''.

       Note  that,  when  doing	 a live	capture	on some	platforms, if the read
       timeout expires when there are no  packets  available,  pcap_dispatch()
       will  return  0,	 even  when  not in non-blocking mode, as there	are no
       packets to process.  Applications should	be prepared for	this  to  hap-
       pen, but	must not rely on it happening.

       (In  older  versions  of	libpcap, the behavior when cnt was 0 was unde-
       fined; different	platforms and devices  behaved	differently,  so  code
       that  must work with older versions of libpcap should use -1, not 0, as
       the value of cnt.)

       callback	specifies a pcap_handler routine to be called with three argu-
       ments:  a  u_char  pointer  which  is  passed  in  the user argument to
       pcap_loop() or pcap_dispatch(),	a  const  struct  pcap_pkthdr  pointer
       pointing	 to  the  packet  time	stamp  and lengths, and	a const	u_char
       pointer to the first caplen (as	given  in  the	struct	pcap_pkthdr  a
       pointer	to which is passed to the callback routine) bytes of data from
       the packet.  The	struct pcap_pkthdr and the packet data are not	to  be
       freed by	the callback routine, and are not guaranteed to	be valid after
       the callback routine returns; if	the code needs them to be valid	 after
       the callback, it	must make a copy of them.

       The  bytes of data from the packet begin	with a link-layer header.  The
       format of the link-layer	header is indicated by the return value	of the
       pcap_datalink()	routine	 when  handed  the pcap_t value	also passed to
       pcap_loop() or pcap_dispatch().	 http://www.tcpdump.org/linktypes.html
       lists  the  values  pcap_datalink() can return and describes the	packet
       formats that correspond to those	values.	 The value it returns will  be
       valid  for all packets received unless and until	pcap_set_datalink() is
       called; after a successful call to pcap_set_datalink(), all  subsequent
       packets	will  have  a  link-layer  header of the type specified	by the
       link-layer header type value passed to pcap_set_datalink().

       Do NOT assume that the packets for a given capture or ``savefile`` will
       have any	given link-layer header	type, such as DLT_EN10MB for Ethernet.
       For example, the	"any" device on	Linux will have	 a  link-layer	header
       type of DLT_LINUX_SLL even if all devices on the	system at the time the
       "any" device is	opened	have  some  other  data	 link  type,  such  as
       DLT_EN10MB for Ethernet.

RETURN VALUE
       pcap_loop()  returns  0	if cnt is exhausted or if, when	reading	from a
       ``savefile'', no	more packets are available.  It	returns	-1 if an error
       occurs  or  -2 if the loop terminated due to a call to pcap_breakloop()
       before any packets were processed.  It does not return when live	packet
       buffer timeouts occur; instead, it attempts to read more	packets.

       pcap_dispatch()	returns	 the  number  of packets processed on success;
       this can	be 0 if	no packets were	read from a live capture (if, for  ex-
       ample,  they were discarded because they	didn't pass the	packet filter,
       or if, on platforms that	support	a packet buffer	 timeout  that	starts
       before  any  packets arrive, the	timeout	expires	before any packets ar-
       rive, or	if the file descriptor for the capture device is in non-block-
       ing  mode and no	packets	were available to be read) or if no more pack-
       ets are available in a ``savefile.'' It returns -1 if an	 error	occurs
       or  -2  if the loop terminated due to a call to pcap_breakloop()	before
       any packets were	processed.  If your application	uses pcap_breakloop(),
       make  sure  that	 you  explicitly check for -1 and -2, rather than just
       checking	for a return value < 0.

       If -1 is	returned, pcap_geterr()	or pcap_perror() may be	called with  p
       as an argument to fetch or display the error text.

SEE ALSO
       pcap(3),	pcap_geterr(3),	pcap_breakloop(3), pcap_datalink(3)

				20 January 2017			  PCAP_LOOP(3)

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | RETURN VALUE | SEE ALSO

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