Installing Wireshark on MacOS X

Installing Wireshark on MacOS X isn’t hard; however it isn’t as straightforward as on other platforms.

  1. Download and install XQuartz. While no longer officially supported by Apple, XQuartz was spun out from Apple as an open source project.
  2. Download and install WireShark
  3. Launch Wireshark
    • You might be prompted for the location of your X11 viewer (XQuartz). It is browse to /Applications/Utilities
    • Wireshark will prompt you that it will take a while to build the font cache. It’s not kidding. I had absolutely no indication of activity, then after a few minutes, Wireshark appeared.
  4. Begin capturing packets – make sure you are only sniffing packets in a location where you are authorized to run a packet sniffer (e.g. you own private network)

Other Notes

  • You can keep the Wireshark icon in your doc; however, clicking on the icon will not always bring Wireshark into the foreground. If clicking on the Wireshark icon doesn’t bring it into the foreground, try clicking on the XQuartz icon.
  • Wireshark is still a Windows/Linux program, so the menu bar is inside of the main window.