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Packet Trace Guide

1 Introduction

One of the easiest ways to view the traffic traversing the LoadMaster is to perform a TCP dump. This simple command will capture all of the traffic (or just a specified subset) that is being transmitted and received by the LoadMaster. The results can be examined by analysing the .pcap file with Wireshark or another packet analyzer.

When using the console to perform the TCP dump, an FTP server that can be reached by the LoadMaster is required in order to retrieve the packet capture files.

1.1 Document Purpose

The purpose of this document is to educate the reader on how to perform a TCP dump in the LoadMaster.

1.2 Intended Audience

This document is intended to be read by anyone who is interested in finding out how to perform a TCP dump in the LoadMaster.

2 Perform a TCP Dump

There are two ways to perform a TCP dump in the LoadMaster – via the Web User Interface (WUI), or via the console. Refer to the relevant section below for steps.

2.1 Perform a TCP Dump using the WUI

To perform a TCP dump using the WUI, follow the steps below:

1. In the main menu, select System Configuration > Troubleshooting.


2. A TCP dump can be captured either by one or all Ethernet ports. In the TCP dump section at the bottom of the screen, select the relevant Interface to run the TCP dump on, or select All.

3. Optionally enter the IP Address and the Port to be monitored.

4. Enter any optional parameters as required in the Options text box.

The maximum number of characters permitted in the Options field is 255.

5. Click Start.

6. Make access from the client to the Virtual Server.

7. When appropriate, click Stop.

8. Click Download.

9. This downloads the results of the TCP dump in a .pcap file. This file can be analysed using a packet trace tool such as Wireshark.

The TCP dump feature includes a few common filters, such as Interface, IP Address, and Port. By specifying an appropriate filter, the pcap can include the client to LoadMaster connectivity as well as the LoadMaster to server connection. Enter the Virtual Service's IP address as a filter for non-transparent Virtual Services. The client's IP address is a useful filter for transparent services. A port-based filter can also be used to narrow down the traffic that is recorded.

You can enter the additional filters using a textbox called Options. Some additional common filters which can be added are listed below:

  • vrrp - Filters for HA multicasts

  • icmp - Filters for ICMP pings

  • -c - Count - changes the maximum total packets recorded

  • -s - Size - changes the maximum bytes per packet

By default, the TCP dump captures the first 10,000 packets or 30MB of data. Depending on which value hit first, the capture will stop. The memory dedicated to save a pcap file is 30MB. When listening on two interfaces, each interface will be able to record up to 15MB of traffic.

If the logging of packets beyond 10,000 is required - it is possible to specify to record only the first n number of bytes of each packet. Therefore, the maximum packet count (-c) can also be increased.

If you use the -c filter to capture more packets, the LoadMaster saves the pcap file to the /TMP folder. This folder size is very small and if you fill it up, you will lose access to the User Interface.

2.1.1 Perform a TCP Dump via the Console

To perform a TCP dump via the console, follow the steps below:

1. Log in to the console.

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2. Select Utilities.

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3. Select Diagnostics.

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4. Select Diagnostic Shell.

5. Enter the relevant commands at the % prompt, for example:

tcpdump –s 1500 –c 10000 –i eth0 –w eth0.pcap FILTER0 &

If performing a TCP dump on a two-armed device, ensure to enter the ampersand (&) at the end of the command and also use the command below.

tcpdump –s 1500 –c 10000 –i eth1 –w eth1.pcap FILTER1

6. Please select the appropriate filter for FILTER0 and FILTER1:

a) Host

b) Port 1234

c) Host and port 1234

7. For example, a complete TCP dump command might look like this:

tcpdump –s 1500 –c 10000 –i eth0 –w eth0.pcap host and port 80

8. This will capture all traffic to or from IP with a source or destination port of 80.

As the example command above is set to quit after 10,000 packets, the capture may need to be restarted if the situation in question does not occur within the first 10,000 packets captured, i.e. in the case of heavy load.

9. Make access from the client to the Virtual Server to produce the error.

10. Return to the diagnostic shell.

11. Stop the packet capture by holding Ctrl on the keyboard and pressing C.

12. If running a TCP dump on a two-armed setup, enter the command fg. The second trace will appear. Stop the second packet capture by holding Ctrl on the keyboard and pressing C.

13. Connect to the FTP server and send the file by entering the command:

ftp <FTP IP address>

14. Enter credentials (this depends on the FTP server).

15. Then, enter the following commands:


put eth0.pcap

put eth1.pcap (if running a packet tract on a two-armed configuration)


16. It is now possible to retrieve the packet capture files from the FTP server and analyse them in the application of choice, for example Wireshark.

17. Use the exit command to exit the Diagnostic Shell.

If instructed by a Progress Kemp Support Engineer, you can send them the packet trace file for analysis. Before sending the packet capture, please open it using a relevant tool, for example Wireshark, to ensure both the quality of the data and the integrity of the file.

Please keep in mind any security implications of sending the packet capture. Error during FTP Transfer

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If an error occurs which notifies of a damaged or corrupt file, it is likely that the file was not transferred in binary mode. Repeat Step 13 in the Perform a TCP Dump via the Console section and ensure to issue the binary command before transferring.



Unless otherwise specified, the following documents can be found at

Web User Interface (WUI), Configuration Guide

Last Updated Date

This document was last updated on 01 March 2023.

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