Packet reordering in pcap capture file

From: Alan Shieh
Date: Sat Aug 05 2006 - 03:24:07 EST

Hi everyone,

I sometimes see packets stored out of order in pcap files that generated by "tcpdump -i any" on kernel 2.4.26 with all packets arriving and departing on an e1000 NIC. That is, the ordering by receive timestamp on the packets is not the same as the ordering of the packets within the file.

In my precise scenario, packets of RX packets show up in the log 230 ms later than they ought to based on the receive timestamp. The kernel behavior (e.g., the packets that are sent by this node) seems to reflect the arrival of the Rx packet at the position in the logfile, rather than the arrival time according to the timestamp.

What are some of the known causes of this behavior? I'd like to know what locks, etc. might be causing this processing / capture delay.
Alan Shieh
PhD Student, Computer Science
331 Upson Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
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