Kismet (especially in beta) is in a state of rapid development - this means that bad things can creep into the code. Sorry about that!
If you’re interested in helping debug problems with Kismet, here’s the most useful way to do so:
Compile Kismet from source (per the quick start guide above)
Install Kismet (typically via
sudo make suidinstall)
Run Kismet, FROM THE SOURCE DIRECTORY, in
$ gdb ./kismet
This loads a copy of Kismet with all the debugging info intact; the copy of Kismet which is installed system-wide usually has this info removed; the installed version is 1/10th the size, but also lacks a lot of useful information which we need for proper debugging.
Tell GDB to ignore the PIPE signal
(gdb) handle SIGPIPE nostop noprint pass
This tells GDB not to intercept the SIGPIPE signal (which can be generated, among other times, when a data source has a problem)
Configure GDB to log to a file
(gdb) set logging on
This saves all the output to
- Run Kismet - in debug mode
(gdb) run --debug [any other options]
This turns off the internal error handlers in Kismet; they’d block gdb from seeing what happened. You can specify any other command line options after –debug; for instance:
(gdb) run --debug -n -c wlan1
Wait for Kismet to crash
Collect a backtrace
This shows where Kismet crashed.
- Collect thread info
(gdb) info threads
This shows what other threads were doing, which is often critical for debugging.
- Collect per-thread backtraces
(gdb) thread apply all bt full
This generates a dump of all the thread states
- Send us the gdb log and any info you have about when the crash occurred; email@example.com or swing by IRC or the Discord channel (info available about these on the website, https://www.kismetwireless.net)
If you’re familiar with C++ development and want to help debug even further, Kismet can be compiled using the ASAN memory analyzer; to rebuild it with the analyser options:
$ make clean
$ CC=clang CXX=clang++ ./configure --enable-asan
ASAN has a performance impact and uses significantly more RAM, but if you are able to recreate a memory error inside an ASAN instrumented Kismet, that will be very helpful.