I want to identify a gratuitous ARP.
Can I say: If sender IP address and target IP address equal, it's always a gratuitous ARP?
Network Engineering Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for network engineers. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
You can identify Gratuitous ARPs by looking at the ARP Sender Protocol Address and ARP Target Protocol Address, so as you mentioned when they are the same it's a gratuitous ARP. See RFC 2002, Section 4.6 for a reference (the emphasis -
<!!!! is mine)...
4.6. ARP, Proxy ARP, and Gratuitous ARP <...> A Gratuitous ARP  is an ARP packet sent by a node in order to spontaneously cause other nodes to update an entry in their ARP cache. A gratuitous ARP MAY use either an ARP Request or an ARP Reply packet. In either case, the (!!!!>) ARP Sender Protocol Address and ARP Target Protocol Address are both set to the IP address of the cache entry to be updated (<!!!!), and the ARP Sender Hardware Address is set to the link-layer address to which this cache entry should be updated. When using an ARP Reply packet, the Target Hardware Address is also set to the link-layer address to which this cache entry should be updated (this field is not used in an ARP Request packet). In either case, for a gratuitous ARP, the ARP packet MUST be transmitted as a local broadcast packet on the local link. As specified in , any node receiving any ARP packet (Request or Reply) MUST update its local ARP cache with the Sender Protocol and Hardware Addresses in the ARP packet, if the receiving node has an entry for that IP address already in its ARP cache. This requirement in the ARP protocol applies even for ARP Request packets, and for ARP Reply packets that do not match any ARP Request transmitted by the receiving node .