Tag Archives: packet capture

Decoding MAC LTE Frames in Wireshark

Working with LTE MAC traces in Wireshark

I recently pulled MAC layer traces off an eNB and wanted to view them,

In Wireshark this shows up as raw data, and there’s no option to decode as LTE MAC from the Decode As menu.

Instead you’ve got to go to Preferences -> Protocols and select DLT_USER and then edit the encapsulation table.

For DLT_147 enter:


Now you’ll have your MAC frames decoded:

On top of this there’s also now the option to run analysis on these traces,

By selecting Telephony -> LTE -> MAC Statistics you’re able to view stats for each RNTI connected to the eNB.

I’ve attached a copy of my trace for reference.

Setup HOMER SIP captagent and HEP processor on Ubuntu 18.04

There are a number of ways to feed Homer data, in this case we’re going to use Kamailio, which has a HEP module, so when we feed Kamailio SIP data it’ll use the HEP module to encapsulate it and send it to the database for parsing on the WebUI.

We won’t actually do any SIP routing with Kamailio, we’ll just use it to parse copies of SIP messages sent to it, encapsulate them into HEP and send them to the DB.

We’ll be doing this on the same box that we’re running the HomerUI on, if we weren’t we’d need to adjust the database parameters in Kamailio so it pushes the data to the correct MySQL database.

apt-get install kamailio* kamailio-mysql-modules captagent

Next we’ll need to configure Kamailio to capture data from captagent, for this we’ll use the provided config.

cp homer-api/examples/sipcapture/sipcapture.kamailio /etc/kamailio/kamailio.cfg

/etc/init.d/kamailio restart

Next we’ll need to configure captagent to capture data and feed it to Kamailio. There’s two things we’ll need to change from the default, the first is the interface we capture on (By default it’s eth0, but Ubuntu uses eth33 as the first network interface ID) and the second is the HEP destination we send our data to (By default it’s on 9061 but our Kamailio instance is listening on 9060).

We’ll start by editing captagent’s socket_pcap.xml file to change the interface we capture on:

vi /etc/captagent/socket_pcap.xml 
HOMER Captagent Interface Setup
HOMER Captagent Interface Setup

Next we’ll edit the port that we send HEP data on

vi /etc/captagent/transport_hep.xml
Set HEP Port for Transport
Set HEP Port for Transport

And finally we’ll restart captagent


Now if we send SIP traffic to this box it’ll be fed into HOMER.

In most use cases you’d use a port mirror so you may need to define the network interface that’s the destination of the port mirror in socket_pcap.xml

Setup HOMER Web UI, API & DB on Ubuntu 18.04

HOMER is a popular open source SIP / RTP debug / recording tool.

It’s architecture is pretty straight forward, we have a series of Capture Agents feeding data into a central HOMER Capture Server, which runs a database (today we’re using MySQL), a Homer-UI (Running on Apache), a Homer-API (Also running on Apache) and a HEP processor, which takes the HEP encoded data from the Capture Agents and runs on Kamailio. (That’s right, I’m back rambling about Kamailio)

Homer data flow diagram

So this will get the web interface and DB backend of HOMER setup,

For HOMER to actually work you’ll need to feed it data, in the next tutorial we’ll cover configuring a capture agent to feed the HEP processor (Kamailio) which we’ll also setup, but for now we’ll just setup the web user interface for HOMER, API and Database.

Install Web Server Prerequisites

apt-get install apache2 php php-mysql mysql-server

git clone https://github.com/sipcapture/homer-api.git

git clone https://github.com/sipcapture/homer-ui.git

Configure Apache

cp homer-api/examples/web/homer5.apache /etc/apache2/sites-available/homer.conf

a2ensite homer
a2dissite 000-default

a2enmod rewrite

mkdir /var/log/httpd

systemctl reload apache2

Setup MySQL

mysql -u root < homer-api/sql/mysql/homer_databases.sql
mysql -u root < homer-api/sql/mysql/homer_user.sql
mysql -u root homer_data < homer-api/sql/mysql/schema_data.sql
mysql -u root homer_configuration < homer-api/sql/mysql/schema_configuration.sql
mysql -u root homer_statistic < homer-api/sql/mysql/schema_statistic.sql

Copy files to web server directory

mkdir /var/www/sipcapture
mkdir /var/www/sipcapture/htdocs
cp -r homer-ui/ /var/www/sipcapture/htdocs/
cp -r homer-api/api /var/www/sipcapture/htdocs/homer-ui/

Setup Rotation Script

mkdir /opt/sipcapture
cp homer-api/scripts/mysql/* /opt/sipcapture/
chmod +x /opt/sipcapture/*
apt-get install libdbi-perl libdbd-mysql-perl
echo "30 3 * * * /opt/sipcapture/homer_mysql_rotate > /dev/null 2>&1" >> /etc/crontab

Copy default configuration files

cp /var/www/sipcapture/htdocs/homer-ui/api/preferences_example.php /var/www/sipcapture/htdocs/homer-ui/api/preferences.php
cp /var/www/sipcapture/htdocs/homer-ui/api/configuration_example.php /var/www/sipcapture/htdocs/homer-ui/api/configuration.php

Log in


Username: admin
Password: test123

SNgrep – Command line SIP Debugging

If you, like me, spend a lot of time looking at SIP logs, sngrep is an awesome tool for debugging on remote machines. It’s kind of like if VoIP Monitor was ported back to the days of mainframes & minimal remote terminal GUIs.


It’s in the Repos for Debian and Ubuntu:

apt-get install sngrep

GUI Usage

sngrep can be used to parse packet captures and create packet captures by capturing off an interface, and view them at the same time.

We’ll start by just calling sngrep on a box with some SIP traffic, and waiting to see the dialogs appear.

Here we can see some dialogs, two REGISTERs and 4 INVITEs.

By using the up and down arrow keys we can select a dialog, hitting Enter (Return) will allow us to view that dialog in more detail:

Again we can use the up and down arrow keys to view each of the responses / messages in the dialog.

Hitting Enter again will show you that message in full screen, and hitting Escape will bring you back to the first screen.

From the home screen you can filter with F7, to find the dialog you’re interested in.

Command Line Parameters

One of the best features about sngrep is that you can capture and view at the same time.

As a long time user of TCPdump, I’d been faced with two options, capture the packets, download them, view them and look for what I’m after, or view it live with a pile of chained grep statements and hope to see what I want.

By adding -O filename.pcap to sngrep you can capture to a packet capture and view at the same time.

You can use expression matching to match only specific dialogs.