From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Free software (FSF definition) is software that is distributed in a manner that allows its users to run the software for any purpose, to redistribute copies of, and to examine, study, and modify, the source code. The term was coined in 1983, with "free" denoting the broad freedom given to users, rather than software that is free of charge (which is freeware). Open-source is not always free, though.
The free software movement was launched in 1983 with the primary goal of developing free software replacements for the proprietary software that was at that point heavily relied upon. Projects born from the movement include GNU, Linux-libre, LibreOffice, and, on network servers, Samba, and the Apache web server.
Wireshark is a free packet sniffer computer application. It is used for network troubleshooting, analysis, software and communications protocol development, and education. In June 2006 the project was renamed from Ethereal due to trademark issues.
The functionality Wireshark provides is very similar to tcpdump, but it has a GUI front-end, and many more information sorting and filtering options. It allows the user to see all traffic being passed over the network (usually an Ethernet network, but Wireshark also supports decoding 802.11 frames and even USB traffic) by putting the network card into promiscuous mode.
Wireshark uses the cross-platform GTK+ widget toolkit, and is cross-platform, running on various computer operating systems including FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Released under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Wireshark is free software.
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