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ngrep Cheat Sheet with examples

ngrep is a UNIX tool that lets you search through network traffic. This comes in super handy when debugging services that work across servers. Find out what is being sent and received on the network layer.

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ngrep – grep through network traffic

Common usage: ngrep -d any -W byline “needle” port 80


Print udp packets

  ngrep '' udp

Print packets passing eth0 device. Without -d ngrep listens to a default interface. ngrep -d eth0
Print packets for port 80 regardless of device

  ngrep -d any port 80

Only print packets that contain “interesting-domain.com”

  ngrep -d any “interesting-domain.com” port 80

You can use regex such as ‘.*’ in the search string

  ngrep -d any “domain-.*.com” port 80

Or use regex to search for ‘pass’ or ‘USER’

  ngrep -d any “pass|USER” port 80

And ignore case with -i to match for ‘user’ as well

ngrep -d any -i “pass|USER” port 80

If you’re logged in via SSH you might want to ignore your own traffic

  ngrep -d any port not 22

Other Options

Suppress the ‘#’, with -q (for ‘quiet’).
Only print packet headers and payload (if relevant)

  ngrep -q -d any “needle” port 80

Use -W byline for more readable output

  ngrep -d any -W byline “needle” port 80

Limit the number of results with -n

  ngrep -d any “needle” -n 3 port 80

Print empty packets with -e
ngrep -e -d any “needle” port 80


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