Networking/Computing Tips/Tricks

A common question I get is how can I set up a local name resolution file for IP and MAC addresses in Wireshark.  The answer is it is pretty easy, but there is a big gotcha that stumps most people.

Follow this procedure:

Step 1: Open Wireshark and click Help> About Wireshark

Step 2: Click on the Folders Tab.

Step 3: Click on the hyperlink for Personal Configuration.

This will open the directory in your file navigator or Finder.

Step 4: In that directory, create a simple text file called "hosts"

Very important that this file does not have ANY extension!!  If it has the .txt extension, this will not work.

Step 5: Add the relevant hosts for the file:

# This is Andy's Quick Resolution File for Wireshark
# Lines with # are comments
# DLink_Router My_PC

…and so on…

Step 6: Back in Wireshark, open a capture or do a capture.  Then select View> Name Resolution> select the Enable for Network layer resolution

All of the names are now visible in all the panes.

You can do the same thing with MAC Addresses.  Follow a similar procedure creating a file called "ethers".

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