Tcpdump prints out a description of the contents of packets on a network interface that match the boolean expression; the description is preceded by a time stamp, printed, by default, as hours, minutes, seconds, and fractions of a second since midnight.

tcpdump is a common packet analyzer that runs under the command line. It allows the user to display TCP/IP and other packets being transmitted or received over a network to which the computer is attached. Distributed under the BSD license, tcpdump is free software.

Tcpdump works on most Unix-like operating systems: Linux, Solaris, BSD, macOS, HP-UX, Android and AIX among others. In those systems, tcpdump uses the libpcap library to capture packets. The port of tcpdump for Windows is called WinDump; it uses WinPcap, the Windows port of libpcap.

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