Problems (and a semi-solution) for tcpdump with DAG cards

Documenting here for posterity, since I didn’t find much information about it on the ‘net:

Disclaimer: I’m not a network head, just an amateur who dabbles with it when he needs to fix a problem.

Given one Ninjabox (the nickname for packet capture boxes from Endace) with a DAG card (some kind of custom packet capture network card from the same company), you could get the following error when trying to use tcpdump on the dag interface:

tcpdump: dag_attach_stream: Permission denied

The problem seems to be unrelated to your privilege level (you will get this even if you are running as root), but rather to the fact that some other program is/was using the particular interface. You can quickly check this by doing a lsof | grep dag0. In my case it was softflowd. But even after killing the softflowd process, I was getting the same error message. I had to reset the card using the following commands:

/etc/init.d/dag_drivers_load stop
/etc/init.d/dag_drivers_load start

After this tcpdump worked like a charm. Hope that this information will save people from searching around as I had to do.

Off topic minirant: why use custom hardware / software? In my experience they almost never deliver the performance they promise and are hard to troubleshoot because of lack of information.

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