Kismet supports logging to multiple file types:

  • kismet is the primary log format now used by Kismet. This log combines all the data Kismet is able to gather - packets, device records, alerts, system messages, GPS location, non-packet received data, and more. This file can be manipulated with the tools in the log_tools/ directory. Under the covers, a kismet log is a sqlite3 database.
  • pcapppi is the legacy pcap format using the PPI headers. This format saves Wi-Fi packets, GPS information, and some (but not all) of the signal information per packet. Information about which datasource captured a packet is not preserved.
  • pcapng is the modern pcap format. While not all tools support it, Wireshark and TShark have excellent support. Most tools written using libpcap can read pcap-ng files with a single data source. When using pcap-ng, Kismet can log packets from multiple sources, preserving the datasource information and the original, complete, per-packet signal headers.

Picking a log format

Kismet can log to multiple logs simultaneously, configured in the kismet_logging.conf config file (or in the kismet_site.conf override configuration). Logs are configured by the log_types= config option, and multiple types can be specified:


Log names and locations

Log naming and location is configured in kismet_logging.conf (or kismet_site.conf for overrides). Logging can be disabled entirely with:


or it can be disabled at launch time by launching Kismet with -n:

$ kismet -n ...

The default log title is ‘Kismet’. This can be changed using the log_title= option:


or it can be changed at launch time by running Kismet with -t ...:

$ kismet -t SomeCustomeName ...

Kismet stores logs in the directory it is launched from. This can be changed using the log_prefix= option; this is most useful when launching Kismet as a service from systemd or similar when the directory it is being launched from may not be where you want to store logs: