Input options

Let’s go through some examples of how to set up dnsmonster inputs

Live interface

To start listening on an interface, simply put the name of the interface in the --devName= parameter. In unix-like systems, the ip a command or ifconfig gives you a list of interfaces that you can use. In this mode, dnsmonster needs to run with higher privileges.

In Windows environments, to get a list of interfaces, open cmd.exe as Administrator and run the following: getmac.exe. You’ll see a table with your interfaces’ MAC address and a Transport Name column with something like this: \Device\Tcpip_{16000000-0000-0000-0000-145C4638064C}.

Then you simply replace the word Tcpip_ with NPF_ and use it as the --devName parameter. Like so

dnsmonster.exe --devName \Device\NPF_{16000000-0000-0000-0000-145C4638064C}

Pcap file

To analyze a pcap file, you can simply use the --pcapFile= option. You can also use the value - or /dev/stdin to read the pcap from stdin. This can be used in pcap-over-ip and zipped pcaps that you would like to analyze on the fly. For example, this example will read the packets as they’re getting extracted without saving the extracted pcap on the disk

lz4cat /path/to/a/hug/dns/capture.pcap.lz4 | dnsmonster --pcapFile=- --stdoutOutputType=1


dnsmonster doesn’t support pcap-over-ip directly, but you can achieve the same results by combining a program like netcat or socat with dnsmonster to make pcap-over-ip work.

to connect to a remote pcap-over-ip server, use the following

while true; do
  nc -w 10 REMOTE_IP REMOTE_PORT | dnsmonster --pcapFile=- --stdoutOutputType=1

to listen on pcap-over-ip, the following code can be used

while true; do
  nc -l -p REMOTE_PORT | dnsmonster --pcapFile=- --stdoutOutputType=1

if pcap-over-ip is a popular enough option, the process of building a native capability to support it shouldn’t be too difficult. Feel free to open a topic in the discussion page or simply an issue on the repo if this is something you care about.


dnsmonster can listen on a dnstap TCP or Unix socket and process the dnstap logs as they come in just like a network packet, since dnstap’s specification is very close to the packet itself. to learn more about dnstap, visit their website here.

to use dnstap as a TCP listener, use --dnstapSocket with a syntax like --dnstapSocket=tcp:// If you’re using a Unix socket to listen for dnstap packets, you can use unix:///tmp/dnstap.sock and set the socket file permission with --dnstapPermission option.

Currently, the dnstap in client mode is unsupported since the use case of it is very rare. in case you need this function, you can use a tcp port proxy or socat to convert the TCP connection into a unix socket and read it from dnsmonster.

Last modified April 12, 2022: inputs documentation (d2bfa66)