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

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

  • 4
    Any solutions for the "Is it possible to add this info to the chart of top?" part? :) – Janaka Bandara Dec 25 '15 at 2:57
  • 1
    @JanakaBandara check out Glances. – ESala Mar 7 '17 at 18:00

20 Answers 20


Here are some nice tools in the Ubuntu repositories for command line network traffic 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

  • 11
    bmon is really cool! has a graph like slurm but not colorful. – Ethereal Jan 10 '14 at 21:27
  • 42
    sudo apt-get install bmon slurm tcptrack – Nabil Kadimi Oct 6 '15 at 17:44
  • 3
    nload deserves mentioning for better separation of upload and download (also not colourful) – Chris Apr 2 '16 at 1:17
  • 1
    tcptrack is cool! – Robert Apr 9 '16 at 10:56
  • 5
    Haha this cracked me up: tcptrack displays activity in Bytes per second, and the 40Gbit link I set up overflowed the 32 bit integer... it flips between reporting LUDICROUS and a large negative value in the billions. – Steven Lu Dec 18 '19 at 4:05

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

sudo apt-get install iftop

Then run

sudo iftop

from any terminal!


  • 10
    To see anything, I have to run (Ubuntu using wifi): $ sudo iftop -i wlan0 – russian_spy Jun 3 '15 at 20:08
  • does iftop also record or log the network bandwidth from time to time? Currently I'm using both vnstat and iftop for different usage, and vnstat logs the bandwidth usage. It would be excessive and add more loads to my server if iftop does it too. – Oki Erie Rinaldi Oct 10 '18 at 4:52
  • For easier selection of a traffic analysis program, editing to add a screenshot would be great :) – Basj Jan 25 at 14:55

Someone should also have mentioned nethogs.

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

  • 10
    To install: sudo apt-get -y install nethogs then sudo nethogs – bmaupin Sep 2 '14 at 15:18
  • Very useful utility, just note that you may need to take a few extra steps installing to make it work on 14.04 as askubuntu.com/a/729560/79176 describes. – Huge May 18 '17 at 13:56
  • For those with Debian Jessie who happen to come here, too: A working version is in Backports: apt-get install nethogs/jessie-backports (you need to add jessie-backports first). – Tino Feb 10 '18 at 19:46
  • 1
    "it shows traffic per process" exactly what I needed, thanks! – Paul Feakins Apr 17 '19 at 11:46

There is a nice tool called speedometer that displays a graph in the terminal using Unicode block characters, colors, and even adds labels to each peak in the graph.

$ sudo apt-get install speedometer
$ speedometer -l  -r wlan0 -t wlan0 -m $(( 1024 * 1024 * 3 / 2 ))

Screenshot after running the previous command

It has several options, can monitor multiple interfaces, can show multiple graphs in several rows or columns, and can even monitor the download speed of a single file (by watching the file size on disk).

  • 2
    This is by far the nicest visiual graph i've ever seen in a plain text display. I will be looking into the gui library by the same author now: urwid.org (source code and author: github.com/wardi) – ThorSummoner Dec 11 '15 at 23:25
  • 1
    @ThorSummoner: This is getting off-topic, but urwid is the library used by the awesome PuDB Python debugger. – Denilson Sá Maia Dec 13 '15 at 1:53
  • This just sits at "waiting for <interface> to be created". – felwithe Apr 4 '18 at 4:18
  • @felwithe That probably means you passed the wrong network interface name. Try changing wlan0 in that command to eth0 or to whatever is the name of the network interface in your system. See also: unix.stackexchange.com/a/125406 – Denilson Sá Maia Apr 8 '18 at 22:53
  • @DenilsonSáMaia I did not; I checked that. I tried the other interfaces as well. That was all the time I had to fiddle with it. I was having network problems and had to find a tool that worked ASAP. I used one of the simple ones, and it turned out that the problem wasn't bandwidth anyway. – felwithe Apr 9 '18 at 20:07


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

  • 3
    In Ubuntu 18.04, looks like iptraf-ng has replaced iptraf. – wisbucky Apr 23 '19 at 23:46
  • Can iptraf display the speed for each TCP client @wisbucky? (a little bit like tcptrack) – Basj Jan 25 at 14:56
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.

  • 1
    This will certainly display the network information... Not a very user-friendly interface, nor does it have aggregate stats. Definitely think of this like wireshark. – user2943160 Jul 6 '16 at 18:25

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).

  • 2
    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
  • 6
    netstat -t -u -c ? – hingev Feb 17 '13 at 10:41

If you are looking for something extremely simple, but still useful, try ifstat

$ sudo apt-get install ifstat
$ ifstat
       eth0               wlan0       
 KB/s in  KB/s out   KB/s in  KB/s out
    0.00      0.00      0.96      4.79
    0.00      0.00      0.04      0.14

It monitors all interfaces at once, printing a new line every second. Useful to pipe into another script, or to leave running and observe the bandwidth usage over time. Not as pretty as other tools, but it gets the job done.

There are some useful options listed in the manpage:

-z  Hides interface which counters are null, eg interfaces that are up but not used.
-n  Turns off displaying the header periodically.
-t  Adds a timestamp at the beginning of each line.
-T  Reports total bandwith for all monitored interfaces.
-S  Keep stats updated on the same line if possible (no scrolling nor wrapping).
-b  Reports bandwith in kbits/sec instead of kbytes/sec.
  • 1
    I love this command: ifstat -zntS, which outputs only network interface that are not null, with timestamps, without header showing periodically and with results in only one line (I love man pages). – Igor V. Oct 17 '15 at 19:12

Another useful tool is sar. Install it,

apt install sysstat

How to use it:

sar -n DEV  1

And Brendan's amazing graph guide: enter image description here


  • +1 for mentioning sar, which does the job and is included (and enabled) by default with most if not all distros. – vladr Mar 29 '18 at 18:06

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


This is not specific to networking, but Glances can display network traffic of different interfaces.

enter image description here

Install it with one of those commands :

sudo snap install glances
sudo apt install glances

Also you could use iftop utility


Ifstat is good tool and it will give you all the interface network usage with respect to time.

sudo apt-get install ifstat

enter image description here


According to ifconfig man:

This program is obsolete! For replacement check ip addr and ip link. For statistics use ip -s link.

So using ip command:

 $ ip -s link

We can get network stats:

1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    RX: bytes  packets  errors  dropped overrun mcast
    173654497900 26078946 0       0       0       0
    TX: bytes  packets  errors  dropped carrier collsns
    173654497900 26078946 0       0       0       0
2: ens3: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 12:34:56:78:90:00 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    RX: bytes  packets  errors  dropped overrun mcast
    3650412438854 399476618 0       2551849 0       0
    TX: bytes  packets  errors  dropped carrier collsns
    617437624480 321390259 0       0       0       0


$ ip -s -h link

1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00 promiscuity 0 addrgenmode eui64
    RX: bytes  packets  errors  dropped overrun mcast
    174G       26.1M    0       0       0       0
    TX: bytes  packets  errors  dropped carrier collsns
    174G       26.1M    0       0       0       0 2: ens3: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 12:34:56:78:90:00 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff promiscuity 0 addrgenmode eui64
    RX: bytes  packets  errors  dropped overrun mcast
    3.65T      399M     0       2.55M   0       0
    TX: bytes  packets  errors  dropped carrier collsns
    617G       321M     0       0       0       0

Another possible tool is called nload. http://linux.die.net/man/1/nload

Similar to slurm or bmon, but a little more simplistic.


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.


And this is a blog showing a list of command to monitor bandwidth:



I've been using NetHogs for about two months. It shows you total bandwidth usage. With the following setting you can additionally get bandwidth usage for each program

sudo nethogs -v 3


nettop is another option (not in the standard linux repos).

To build clone the repo:

git clone https://github.com/Emanem/nettop.git

Install the dependencies:

sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev libncursesw5-dev build-essential libpcap-dev

And build the binary:


Run with:

sudo ./nettop

Btw, macos has a built-in utility called nettop which does the same thing but has more features.


There's also conky.

You might have the package listed in your system's currently used repositories. Try running:

sudo apt-get install conky-all

Some basic configuration info: Ubuntu Community Docs: Configuring Conky. CAUTION: The info on that site may be out of date, so please verify the steps listed there apply to your system.

Of course, a basic conky is very boring to look at, so here's a good conky theme to get you started:


Just follow the instructions on that page for setup; to install a particular theme, copy the .conkyrc file from the corresponding folder for the theme in the .harmattan-themes folder to your home directory.

Then, edit the file according to the instructions on the linked page.


Modify the file after copying it to your home folder, this way you get to keep the original un-altered files in case you need to re-copy the .conkyrc file for a theme.


For me, Slurm worked well:


sudo apt install slurm

List interfaces


Monitor interface (change eth0):

slurm -i eth0
  • 1
    Note: This isn't the same as the HPC resource manager SLURM (which is present in the slurmd apt package). – starbeamrainbowlabs Jan 29 at 20:39

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