Logging Basics

Kismet supports logging to multiple log formats simultaneously:

kismetThe Kismet log is the new, unified style of logging. Based on sqlite3, it is a database file containing packets, non-packet data, messages, location information, device records, client records, and more. It can be converted to other formats with the kismetdb_to_xyz tools included in Kismet, or parsed with any language which understands sqlite3 and JSON for scripted handling of Kismet results.
pcapngPCAP-NG is the new PCAP packet capture format supported by Wireshark, Tshark, and other tools. PCAP-NG logs contain the complete original packet and original radio headers, capture device information, and can merge multiple capture types into a single log.
pcapppiPCAP-PPI is a legacy PCAP packet capture file, with PPI packet headers. Packets must be translated to the PPi header format, which will not contain the full original information. PCAP-PPI should only be used for legacy packet processors which cannot be updated to use PCAP-NG.
wiglecsvThe wiglecsv log is meant for direct uploading to the Wigle project, a community wardriving and data collection site.

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:


Log name templates

The template used to create the logfile names can be changed in the Kismet configs using the log_template option.

By default, Kismet will log files as:


using the template


Templates are defined with % codes:

%pLogging prefix
%nLogging title (such as the -t option on the command line)
%dLog date as Mmm-DD-YYYY
%DLog date as YYYYMMDD
%tLog time as HH-MM-SS
%TLog time as HHMMSS
%iLog number, if multiple logs of the same name are found
%IMulti-part log number padded with zeroes
%lLog type (kismet, pcapng, etc)
%hHome directory