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I'm new to Lua dissector and experimenting with Lua. I need some help understand how can a sub-protocol dissector return bytes consumed during its decoding to its caller dissector.


MYPROTO = Proto ("myproto", "My Simple Protocol")
local myproto_dt = ("myproto.msgid", "MYPROTO")

local f = MYPROTO.fields
f.var1 = ProtoField.uint16 ("myproto.var1", "var1")  
f.msgid = ProtoField.uint16 ("myproto.msgid", "Message Id")
f.var2 = ProtoField.uint16 ("myproto.var1", "var1")

function MYPROTO.dissector (buffer, pinfo, tree)
    subtree:add (f.var1, buffer(offset, 2))
    offset = offset + 2

    local msgid = buffer (offset, 2)
    local mi = subtree:add (f.msgid, msgid)
    offset = offset + 2

    --This is calling a nested/chain dissectors which has a variable length filed.
    --How can this function be made to return bytes it consumed while decoding the
    --variable length field?
    myproto_dt:try (msgid:uint(), buffer(offset):tvb(), pinfo, subtree)

    --This step is missing
    offset = offset + offset_consumed

    subtree:add (f.var2, buffer(offset, 2))
    offset = offset + 2

asked 01 Jul '12, 12:22

nrk1983's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 01 Jul '12, 12:28

Ideally, the sub-dissector would just return the number of consumed bytes, and you'd just check the return value, but DissectorTable.try() does not return any values. Neither does I suggest filing an enhancement request at to get those functions to return the rval of the called dissector.

A workaround is to declare a global variable, call DissectorTable.try() (whose sub-dissector would set the variable to the number of consumed bytes), and then check the value of the variable for the result. This is a bit ugly due to the usage of globals.

foo.rval = -1
myproto_dt:try (...) -- subdissector sets foo.rval
print('number of consumed bytes', foo.rval)
foo.rval = nil -- cleanup

You can avoid globals in this particular case by using pinfo.private, which contains a string hash table (of string keys and string values). This is only slightly less ugly than globals, but when life gives you lemons...

pinfo.private.rval = -1
myproto_dt:try (...) -- subdissector sets pinfo.private.rval
print('number of consumed bytes', pinfo.private.rval) 
pinfo.private.rval = nil -- cleanup

Note the value from a pinfo.private lookup is a string...use tonumber() to convert the string to a number if necessary.

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answered 01 Jul '12, 13:55

helloworld's gravatar image

accept rate: 28%

Thanks a lot.. pinfo.private.rval solution worked..

(02 Jul '12, 10:29) nrk1983
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question asked: 01 Jul '12, 12:22

question was seen: 4,318 times

last updated: 02 Jul '12, 10:29

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