How can I install libpcap header files on Ubuntu 12.04?

When I use apt-get install libpcap I receive following message:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package libpcap
  • What are you trying to do with libpcap?
    – Braiam
    Sep 20, 2013 at 17:27
  • 1
    I get source code needs libpcap. It uses libpcap to capture network packets.
    – SuB
    Sep 20, 2013 at 18:25

3 Answers 3


Use this:

sudo apt-get install libpcap-dev
  • 2
    That's because 1) libpcap-dev (probably) depends on the libpcap package, and will bring it in and 2) if you have source code that needs libpcap, you not only will need the libpcap package (whatever it's called - its name might be "libpcap0.8", for various Debian reasons), which provides shared libraries for already-built programs that use libpcap, but you will also need the libpcap-dev package, which provides header files needed to compile the source code for programs that use libpcap (and static libraries in case people want them).
    – user126192
    Sep 20, 2013 at 18:34

to install libpcap. try these commands

cd /usr
mkdir nembuild
cd nembuild    
wget http://www.tcpdump.org/release/libpcap-1.5.3.tar.gz
tar -xf libpcap-1.5.3.tar.gz
cd libpcap-1.5.3
make && make install


  • Why install a package while there is a binary (RPM, DEB , ...) package for it? Your method is the most complex way dude!
    – SuB
    Apr 20, 2014 at 4:52
  • 1
    because libpcap 1.5.3 is way better than the version 0.8 available from aptitude Aug 8, 2014 at 16:25
  • 4
    Aptitude does not use 0.8, it is only the name of a package. Check "apt-cache show libpcap-dev" to see the version used.
    – Étienne
    Sep 5, 2014 at 16:15

To install libpcap open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Tand type:

sudo apt-get install libpcap0.8 libpcap0.8-dev libpcap-dev
  • 2
    According to Ubuntu Packages libpcap-dev depends on libpcap0.8-dev and itself depends on libpcap0.8. So libpcap0.8 is redundant.
    – SuB
    Sep 20, 2013 at 10:52

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