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Linux Network Monitoring Tools

For Linux sysadmins, having the ability to easily monitor network traffic is a vital task. From measuring bandwidth usage to analyzing how an infrastructure is handling its workload, there are several metrics that do a great job of providing tangible insight when monitored in an efficient manner. Having a single monitoring solution to oversee your Linux environment offers several benefits, but it is equally important to take advantage of the network monitoring tools existing within Linux. With so many different Linux command line tools available, let’s look at the ones that are most effective in monitoring and generating information regarding network usage. 


Nload is a console application that allows users to utilize real-time monitoring of ingoing and outgoing network traffic. By sharing bandwidth usage in graph form, Nload makes it easy to view each lane of traffic while also providing additional info such as the total amount of transferred data and minimum/maximum network thresholds. There are other command line tools that are more apt for individual processes, but Nload is one of the more popular options for those who want to easily monitor total bandwidth usage. 


Iftop measures network traffic on a given interface and displays a table of current bandwidth usage via host groupings. By leveraging the pcap library, Iftop locates the packets moving out of a network adapter, and then tallies up the size to determine total bandwidth being used within the network. While Iftop can report on the bandwidth of individual connections, it requires certain permissions to monitor all network traffic occurring on the interface, so be sure your access is properly set up so you can take full advantage of the tool.          


Unlike most other command line tools, NetHogs organizes bandwidth usage by individual process and groups the most extensive processes in order of importance, without requiring any special kernel module for proper functioning. If your monitoring tool reveals a sudden spike in network traffic, you can utilize NetHogs to find the root cause and then execute the necessary task to correct the issue. 


Speedometer is used to monitor the download speeds of network connections and file systems. It is particularly helpful in how it shows a graph of both previous/current network speeds. If you want to pinpoint a certain area, Speedometer allows you to monitor the download performance and history of a specific file. 


As an interactive IP LAN monitoring tool, Iptraf provides detailed information on individual connections and shows the amount of data flowing between hosts. Iptraf also generates other network statistics (such as TCP info, UDP counts, node stats, etc.) that make it a useful tool for Linux network monitoring. 

SNMP MIB-II Service Checks

Looking for a monitoring solution that can oversee these Linux commands? Learn how Opsview Linux monitoring tools can play a vital role in ensuring the performance and availability of your IT infrastructure.


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by Eric Bernsen,
Marketing Analyst
Author focused on educating our readers about the latest technologies in the IT Ops world.

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