[Winpcap-users] timestamping and huge latency

Fish" (David B. Trout fish at infidels.org
Wed Sep 22 03:59:10 PDT 2010

YET ANOTHER thought (sorry for the sudden flurry of emails!): WinPCap's
timestamp logic starts out as being identical to the system time but is then
incremented based on the high performance (CPU) clock. Thus, since the high
performance clock's frequency can change over time (due to the CPU being
placed into power-saving mode[1]), the high performance counter technique
that WinPCap uses to timestamp its captured packets with is NOT accurate
beyond a short period of time.


That is to say, for a capture session lasting only several seconds to
several minutes (several hours might be pushing it), WinPCap's timestamp
should be close enough for most purposes.


But for a capture session lasting DAYS?!   Forget it!


If WinPCap would periodically "resync" (reinitialize) its starting base
capture time (i.e. its GetSystemTime value), then perhaps the resulting
timestamps might be reasonably accurate for much, much longer.


But when a capture is started, WinPCap obtains the GetSystemTime value only
once at the start of the capture session and then never ever again retrieves
it. Instead, it keeps incrementing it internally (more or less) based off of
the CPU's high performance counter value.


I suppose one possible way of working around this issue would be to
periodically (say, every couple of minutes?) start a new capture session and
then close the original capture session (so as to not lose any packets).
Thus the new capture session would, during its WinPCap initialization,
obtain a new starting/base GetSystemTime value and thus end up essentially
"resyncing" itself with the operating system clock. That might work.

  "Fish"  (David B. Trout) 
    fish at softdevlabs.com


From: winpcap-users-bounces at winpcap.org
[mailto:winpcap-users-bounces at winpcap.org] On Behalf Of Helmut Vaupotitsch
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 9:18 AM
To: winpcap-users at winpcap.org
Subject: [Winpcap-users] timestamping and huge latency
Importance: High


Hi Gianluca and all others,

I am facing a major latency problem on *long lasting* capture sessions which
has to do with timestamping by the driver, every hint to solve it is

We developed a proprietary protocol to configure, manage and monitor 
our self-developed hardware, the config software uses WinPCap to capture and
send raw packets.

Everything is working fine, but after some days of continuous capturing i
- On some machines, the latency between sending requests and receiving the
  increases to some seconds (can be up to >30 secs after capturing for a
Closing and re-opening the driver would solve the problem, but i definitely
need to capture
for months and longer without interrupt!

I know that the driver timestamp is drifting apart from the System
Time(which can be
synchronized by e.g. a NTP server), therefore i timestamp the frames my
is also important if a use timeouts)

My question is:
What could be the reason(s) for huge latency on long lasting captures?
I know that the latency increases on receiving packets
Currently i don´t know if sending´s latency also increases
Maybe it has something to do with the GetSystemTimeAdjustment setting?

Thanks for reading

Best regards from Austria

Gianluca Varenni schrieb: 

The return value of QuerySystemTime and QueryPerformanceCounter is 
synchronized at the beginning of the capture (to compute the offset between 
epoch time and QueryPerformanceCounter), and then the counter and frequency 
returned by QPC are used to compute the number of seconds (and microseconds)

and added to the offset.
The timestamping code is available in the source code of WinPcap, 
Have a nice day
From: "Jan Martinec"  <mailto:martij12 at fel.cvut.cz> <martij12 at fel.cvut.cz>
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 7:23 AM
To:  <mailto:winpcap-users at winpcap.org> <winpcap-users at winpcap.org>
Subject: [Winpcap-users] timestamp

I've got a question about timestamping method. I know that a timestamp
is got using method QueryPerformanceCounter (resp.
keQueryPerformanceCounter), which is a number of ticks of Performance
counter. But timestamp is by Winpcap returned in "Seconds since Epoch"
format. So how is the recomputation done?
Thank you very much
Best regards,
Jan Martinec
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ITEC Tontechnik und            Fax:    +43 (0)3133 3780 9
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