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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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9 Answers 9

up vote 85 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

enter image description here

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 '14 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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To install: sudo apt-get -y install nethogs then sudo nethogs –  bmaupin Sep 2 '14 at 15:18

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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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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IPTraf is a console-based network statistics utility for Linux. It gathers a variety of figures such as TCP connection packet and byte counts, interface statistics and activity indicators, TCP/UDP traffic breakdowns, and LAN station packet and byte counts.


An IP traffic monitor that shows information on the IP traffic passing over your network. Includes TCP flag information, packet and byte counts, ICMP details, OSPF packet types. General and detailed interface statistics showing IP, TCP, UDP, ICMP, non-IP and other IP packet counts, IP checksum errors, interface activity, packet size counts. A TCP and UDP service monitor showing counts of incoming and outgoing packets for common TCP and UDP application ports A LAN statistics module that discovers active hosts and shows statistics showing the data activity on them TCP, UDP, and other protocol display filters, allowing you to view only traffic you're interested in. Logging Supports Ethernet, FDDI, ISDN, SLIP, PPP, and loopback interface types. Utilizes the built-in raw socket interface of the Linux kernel, allowing it to be used over a wide range of supported network cards. Full-screen, menu-driven operation.

Protocols Recognized


Non-IP packets will simply be indicated as "Non-IP" and, on Ethernet LAN's, will be supplied with the appropriate Ethernet addresses.

Supported Interfaces

Local loopback All Linux-supported Ethernet interfaces All Linux-supported FDDI interfaces SLIP Asynchronous PPP Synchronous PPP over ISDN ISDN with Raw IP encapsulation ISDN with Cisco HDLC encapsulation Parallel Line IP

Source http://iptraf.seul.org/about.html


With apt:

apt-get install iptraf

Or download the source:



Current Connections:

tcp connections

Current Ports:

enter image description here

Summary of all Interfaces:

enter image description here

Detailed per Interface:

enter image description here

Source http://iptraf.seul.org/shots.html

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Can you please explain how to install and use this program? –  Whaaaaaat Aug 29 '14 at 6:49
While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. –  LassePoulsen Aug 29 '14 at 6:59
Edit: Quoted the "About" page and added titles –  jpillora Aug 29 '14 at 7:34
Edit: Added more screenshots, more links –  jpillora Aug 29 '14 at 7:40

Also you could use iftop utility

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I recently discovered wavemon which can easily be installed using apt-get install wavemon.

This tool provides information especially on the signal level of the wireless network.

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