1

Wireshark's tcptrace time sequence graph shows a good deal of information, but I cannot find a document that spells out exactly what it all means. It's broadly similar to the original tcptrace except for the colour scheme and a few missing elements:

  • Blue I-beams indicate packets sent (cf. white and red arrows in tcptrace; Wireshark does not show retransmissions differently)
  • A green line indicating the calculated receive window (cf. a yellow line in tcptrace)
  • A brown line indicating the acked sequence number, with little ticks indicating a received ACK that didn't ack anything new (cf. a green line in tcptrace)
  • SACKs are shown as red or brown vertical lines (cf. purple lines in tcptrace)
  • Special packets (SYNs, FINs etc) are not shown specially.

Here is an example showing all of these features.

example Wireshark tcptrace graph

However, I cannot see any obvious difference between the red and brown SACKs; it seems that the highest SACK is coloured red and the lower ones are brown, but this doesn't seem to me to be something worth distinguishing with different colours so I think I am missing something. What is the real reason for the two different SACK colours?


1

Yes, it does seem to be simply that the first (highest-numbered) SACK range is plotted differently from the rest. From the source noting in particular the branch on i == 0:

 854             // add SACK segments to sack, sack2, and selectable packet graph
 855             for (int i = 0; i < seg->num_sack_ranges; ++i) {
 856                 double half = seg->sack_right_edge[i] - seg->sack_left_edge[i];
 857                 half = half/2.0;
 858                 double center = seg->sack_left_edge[i] - seq_offset_ + half;
 859                 if (i == 0) {
 860                     sack_time.append(ts);
 861                     sack_center.append(center);
 862                     sack_span.append(half);
 863                     if (allow_sack_select) {
 864                         pkt_time.append(ts);
 865                         pkt_seqnums.append(center);
 866                     }
 867                 } else {
 868                     sack2_time.append(ts);
 869                     sack2_center.append(center);
 870                     sack2_span.append(half);
 871                 }
 872             }

Elsewhere in the same source file we see the sack2 data being plotted with a different colour from the sack data, tango_scarlet_red_6 vs tango_scarlet_red_4 respectively.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.