This is our old Q&A Site. Please post any new questions and answers at

If I look at a packet, how can I tell what the link-layer protocol is? Where is it shown in wireshark??

Many thanks.. Sorry if this is an obvious question.

asked 14 Dec '12, 11:41

smc20's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I would say it is the first layer of the packet you should look at ;-)


permanent link

answered 14 Dec '12, 12:52

Kurt%20Knochner's gravatar image

Kurt Knochner ♦
accept rate: 15%

Thanks. In this case; it says:

Frame 2831: 128 bytes on wire (1024 bits), 128 bytes captured (1024 bits)

So i'm guessing that's the Link-Layer. Thanks Kurt :)

(14 Dec '12, 12:57) smc20

erm, no. :-) The link layer protocol is: ethernet, ppp, hdlc, etc. In Wireshark it is the first layer shown after the 'Frame layer'. The link layer protocol is the protocol that is spoken on the physical medium (cable, air).

(14 Dec '12, 13:01) Kurt Knochner ♦

Ahh okay :-) Thanks. I bet I seem stupid. Better to ask though, right?

(14 Dec '12, 13:04) smc20

No problem. I recommend this book:

HINT: If a supplied answer resolves your question can you please "accept" it by clicking the checkmark icon next to it. This highlights good answers for the benefit of subsequent users with the same or similar questions.

(14 Dec '12, 13:06) Kurt Knochner ♦

Note also that some link layers don't show up as what they really are - PPP might show up as Ethernet on Windows or as "Linux cooked-mode capture" on Linux, and 802.11 might show up as Ethernet, for example.

Some link layers might also provide "metadata" that shows up as a layer after "Frame" but before the link layer, such as the various forms of radio information metadata for 802.11.

(14 Dec '12, 20:28) Guy Harris ♦♦
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 14 Dec '12, 11:41

question was seen: 7,582 times

last updated: 14 Dec '12, 20:28

p​o​w​e​r​e​d by O​S​Q​A