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Under Windows one of my favorite software packages was cFosSpeed, a traffic shaping tool. It yields major performance improvements when, for example, having a video conversation while downloading a torrent in the background.

Is there an alternative for this under Ubuntu?

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The Linux kernel itself has these capabilities, but for sure, it's not trivial to set up for people not familiar with these in-deep stuffs (using the command line oriented "tc" command which can manipulate the traffic control capabilities of the Linux kernel). I am not sure that you asks about an easy-to-use GUI, or you need only the theory. Maybe this helps:

http://lartc.org/wondershaper/

It has at least a script, so you don't need to reinvent the wheel too much :)

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What I'm looking for is some easy-to-use traffic shaping program. It does not necessarily need to have a gui :). –  Ingo Feb 11 '11 at 18:11
    
Ok, then you try to use this "wondershaper", it's a script, but easy to use, maybe some parameters need to be set up first (in the script itself) but otherwise I don't think that it's hard to use ... –  LGB Feb 11 '11 at 18:28
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