To inspect SCION packets that are sent over the wire it can be helpful to use Wireshark. For this, we have a Wireshark SCION packet dissector plugin, scion.lua.

Install Wireshark

Wireshark is available from the standard package repositories in most OS distributions (apt, yum, pacman, etc). More details, and installers for Windows and MacOS, can be found on the Wireshark download page.


The scion.lua plugin requires version 3.x of Wireshark, which is not shipped by default on older versions of Ubuntu, like 18.04. Use ppa:wireshark-dev/stable to install a more recent version:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wireshark-dev/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wireshark

Install the SCION packet dissector plugin

Store the scion.lua plugin file to the Wireshark plugin folder. This folder needs to be created if it doesn’t exist.

  • $HOME/.config/wireshark/plugins for most Linux distributions

  • Windows: %APPDATA%\Wireshark\plugins

  • MacOS: /Applications/Wireshark.app/Contents/PlugIns/wireshark

In the Wireshark GUI, the dialog AnalyzeEnabled Protocols should now list multiple protocols related to SCION.

After that you can test it by running a topology and using a SCION filter, for example:

scion.dst_as == "ff00:0:110"


The tshark command-line frontend for Wireshark lists the installed plugins with:

tshark -G plugins

Work remotely with Wireshark

Sometimes it can be handy to use the remote feature of wireshark to tap into an interface on a different machine.

  1. Install wireshark on your local OS and install the dissector plugin (see above)

  2. Prepare the remote machine

    Install tcpdump:

    sudo apt-get install tcpdump

    The user used to SSH into the remote machine needs to have full access to tcpdump. Hence create a new group and add this user to the group. SSH into the remote machine and execute:

    sudo groupadd pcap
    sudo usermod -a -G pcap $USER

    set this group as the owner of tcpdump:

    sudo chgrp pcap /usr/sbin/tcpdump
    sudo chmod 750 /usr/sbin/tcpdump

    give tcpdump the necessary permissions:

    sudo setcap cap_net_raw,cap_net_admin=eip /usr/sbin/tcpdump


    This will allow every user part of the pcap group to use the full capabilities of tcpdump!

  3. Figure out the network interface on the remote host you want to tap into: Get an IP address used by the SCION topology that’s probably running with docker. Search for the network-interface that’s with the corresponding subnet.

  4. Start wireshark and click on the gear next to the interface named “SSH remote capture: sshdump”. Fill in the IP address and Port of the remote host, as well as your preferred authentication method in the Authentication tab. At the Capture tab write the name of the interface you found in the previous step. Find the a screenshot of an example below:

  5. Now you are ready to click start and investigate some SCION traffic