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how to display the actual network traffic (wireless) in a terminal?

Additionally: Is it possible to add this info to the chart of top?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 55 down vote accepted

Here are some nice tools in the Ubuntu repositories for command line bandwidth monitoring:

bmon - shows multiple interfaces at once

enter image description here

slurm - has nice colored graphs

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tcptrack - A favorite. Tells how much bandwidth is being used and also what protocol (service/port) and destination the transmission is taking place to. Very helpful when you want to know exactly what is using up your bandwidth

enter image description here

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bmon is really cool! has a graph like slurm but not colorful. –  Ethereal Jan 10 at 21:27

It's quite easy! install "iftop" with:

    sudo apt-get install iftop

Then run

    sudo iftop

from any terminal!


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Someone should also have mentioned Nethogs, so I'm that one. The thing that's different and maybe is cooler about this one is that it shows traffic per process, like the image shows

enter image description here

Take a look at the page

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I think ifconfig [interface] will do that. Like:

gevorg@gevorg-TravelMate-3260:~$ ifconfig wlan0
wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:18:de:89:52:71  
          BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

gevorg@gevorg-TravelMate-3260:~$ ifconfig eth0
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:16:36:bf:92:e3  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::216:36ff:febf:92e3/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:342765 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:306183 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:373934806 (373.9 MB)  TX bytes:39111569 (39.1 MB)

It shows RX bytes:73934806 (373.9 MB) and TX bytes:39111569 (39.1 MB).

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but this is only the over-all statistic for this session. I would see if the connection is active or not. –  IndexOutOfBoundsException Feb 17 '13 at 10:38
netstat -t -u -c ? –  geoh Feb 17 '13 at 10:41

Install ’vnstat’ it can show traffic for an interface. You can install some plotting packages to get some nice graphs.

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Also you could use iftop utility

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tcpdump -i eth0 

That will give you a streaming information of all the data flowing from that interface (your ethernet card). Similar to wireshark.

Use ifconfig to see a list of your machines interfaces.

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