Sniffing and analysing communication protocolI decided to put online my RTL2832U reverse-engineering / hacking scripts. I get quite often questions how to sniff USB, analyse data and generate some driver code to test. I hope this example helps. Fortunately RTL2832U USB protocol is also very simple, which is easy to read and understand even with very limited existing knowledge.
I like to use native Windows XP and SniffUSB 2.0 to took USB captures. There is multiple USB sniffers available, both software and hardware. Feel free to select one you like, but be aware that these scripts only work for SniffUSB logging format. Making log format conversion scripts should be quite trivial though.
- Take sniff using SniffUSB (outputs file UsbSnoop.log). Just tune to working TV channel, one sec is enough, log file size increases very rapidly when picture is streaming.
- Use parser.pl to convert SniffUSB log (UsbSnoop.log) more human readable form. (History: In my understanding parser.pl was a part of USBreplay toolkit.)
- ./parser.pl UsbSnoop.log > UsbSnoop.ts
- sed -e 's/BULK\[00081\].*$/BULK\[00081\] MPEG2 TS packet data removed/g' UsbSnoop.ts > UsbSnoop.p
- ./rtl2832u.py UsbSnoop.p > UsbSnoop.c
rtl2832u.py could currently extract all registers from rtl2832u devices that has tuner e4000, fc2580, fc0013, tua9001 or r820t. There is few more RF tuners used with rtl2832u and in case of unknown tuner it could still dump out rtl2832u itself registers. Generated code could be copy & pasted directly to the Linux drivers in question and make some tests.
Bug huntingI have found that approach most easiest way to find out and kill Linux driver bugs. Lets take for example RF tuner bug, which causes notable reduced sensitivity. Took sniffs from the working machine, generate code, copy & paste that to the suitable places of non-working driver. Rapidly that non-working driver starts working and it is time to do manual binary search to find out problematic setting and fix it. Easy? Eventually yes.
Scripts and an example (rtl2832u + fc0013)http://palosaari.fi/linux/v4l-dvb/rtl2832u_scripts/
- parser.pl, log conversion script
- rtl2832u.py, C-code generator script
- UsbSnoop.log, SniffUSB log
- UsbSnoop.ts, parser.pl log
- UsbSnoop.p, sed log, video stream removed
- UsbSnoop.c, rtl2832u.py log, generated C-code