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What is NetDiscover ?

Netdiscover is an active/passive address reconnaissance tool, mainly developed for those wireless networks without dhcp server, when you are wardriving. It can be also used on hub/switched networks.

Built on top of libnet and libpcap, it can passively detect online hosts, or search for them, by actively sending arp requests, it can also be used to inspect your network arp traffic, or find network addresses using auto scan mode, which will scan for common local networks. (Jaime Peñalba,

How to install NetDiscover on Mac OS X lion ?

To install NetDiscover on OS X lion you will need to install previously the library libnet.

Libnet is a generic networking API that provides access to several protocols. It is not designed as a ‘all in one’ solution to networking. Currently many features that are common in some network protocols are not available with Libnet, such as streaming via TCP/IP. We feel that Libnet should not provide specific features that are possible in other protocols. If we restrict Libnet to the minimal needed to communicate (datagram/packets) then this allows it to support more interfaces.

(George Foot, Chad Catlett,


  • You may download NetDiscover at the following address (here)
  • You may also download libnet at the following address (here)

Once both files downloaded you might unzip them, and begin the installation of libnet :


  • $cd libnet
  • $sudo ./configure
  • $sudo make
  • $sudo make install

this should install the library on your computer, now you may install netdiscover following this steps:

  • $cd netdiscover
  • $sudo ./configure
  • $sudo make
  • $sudo make install


if you do not install libnet you will have the following error :

configure: error: Cannot find libnet.h – You need libnet installed.

Once everything installed you will be able to use nediscover from the following path :

You can now export the path like this (link):

  • $cd /etc/paths.d/
  • $sudo vim netdiscover
  •  add the following line : /usr/local/sbin/

and now you are able to use netdiscover in your shell without typing the path.

How to use NetDiscover ?


You may simply run the netdiscover command to get the default range which is :, but you might also want to define a range by yourself by using the following command :

This will give you an ouput with all the ip addresses found and all the mac of the computers.

and that’s it.

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