IPwatchD an IP conflict detection tool for Linux

IPwatchD an IP conflict detection tool for Linux

IPwatchD an IP conflict detection tool for Linux

Project name: IPwatchD – IP conflict detection tool
Author: Jaroslav Imrich
Project’s Home Page: IPwatchD



When using a GNU/Linux operating system, from time to time you may come across a situation where network connectivity was interrupted due to the IP conflict. An IP conflict event occurs when two or more hosts on the same network are configured with identical IP addresses. At the present, there appears to be no code in the Linux kernel to take care of this situation by means of appropriate Gratuitous ARP response . Very often a network administrator is left in the complete ignorance by the Linux kernel and needs to troubleshoot IP conflict the hard way. An IP Address Conflict GUI dialog triggered by IPwatchD Daemon Fortunately, there is a simple daemon called IPwatchD which main purpose is to catch and evaluate packets on the network and this way is able to prevent an IP conflict occurrence. This is done by help of libpcap library. IPwatchD daemon is written in C language and can run in passive or active modes. The difference between a passive and active mode is that in the passive mode IPwatchD only logs every IP conflict event by engaging syslog daemon, and in active mode IPwatchD takes one step further and responds to Gratuitous ARP request which is the main construction block when it comes to the IP conflict prevention. This article will explore this simple daemon in terms of installation, configuration and usage.


Before we can install IPwatchD under the GNU/Linux operating system it is recommended to confirm that all prerequisites needed by IPwatchD are installed on the system. Here is a list of packages you would need to install on Ubuntu 8.10.

 * build-essential - C compiler and other development tools
* libpcap-dev - Network packet capture library
* libnet1-dev - Network packet construction library
* libnotify-dev - sends desktop notifications to a notification daemon

On ubuntu or debian linux you can install those packages with a following linux command:

# apt-get install build-essential libpcap-dev libnet1-dev libnotify-dev 

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