I want to want to read the packets of data that are transferred to and from my laptop. I installed wireshark from the Software Center, but the software isn't able to detect my wireless lan.
Any ideas, what might I be doing wrong?
It probably isn't working because you need to run it as root.
Try launching it using this command.
Let me know if this works.
Wireshark does not have necessary privileges to access network interfaces while being run normally under the default settings. However, you should try to run as few programs as possible as root, and wireshark is no exception. Instead, there is a better way.
Select "yes" after running the first command (which tells wireshark that you want to use groups to control capture access), and replace "username" with your username in the second (which adds you to the group "wireshark"). Then simply log out and log back in again, and you should be good to go!