Imagine what it would be like if you could have access to network monitoring tools for Linux to monitor your network activities. You’d always have the visibility you need to stay ahead of performance concerns at all times.
You can figure out what’s causing network sluggishness and fix it immediately. You can also prevent some network issues, such as stopping programs that are overusing network resources and even improve overall performance by ensuring the network is always available and secure.
If you want to see what’s going on in your network, you should install the best Linux network bandwidth monitoring program on your system.
To help you out, below are ten open-source Linux network monitoring tools that monitor traffic flowing through network interfaces and measure the speed at which data is currently being transferred.
These tools have a simple and intuitive user interface (mainly command-line oriented), but they provide traffic reports in different ways.
VnStat is a statistics recording utility that runs on both the console and the command line.
VnStat works by running daemon— a tool that automatically captures and records daily and monthly logs of network traffic and bandwidth consumption in real-time.
Daemon also keeps records of these statistics so you can view them even after a system reboot. This is a stellar function because having access to such data can help you spot any abnormalities in bandwidth usage.
Essential features in VnStat include:
- The user interface is straightforward.
- Statistics are saved even if the system is restarted.
- There’s an option to configure the data that can be used without root permission.
- Multiple interfaces can be monitored at the same time.
It only takes one command in the terminal to install VnStat on your computer.
$ sudo apt install vnstat
IFTOP (short for Interface TOP) continuously monitors the data flowing across each socket in real-time. It captures packets traveling in and out of the network adapter using the pcap library, then adds up the size and count to determine the overall bandwidth in use.
Iftop is perfect for Linux users who wish to figure out why their network performance suddenly reduced because you’ll see a summary of network activity as well as a list of all network consumption bandwidth that’s updated on an interface in real-time. On average, these updates happen every 2, 10, and 40 seconds.
Important Iftop features to include:
- Extremely light and simple to use.
- Ideal for Linux systems with a single user.
- It follows a command-line-based interface similar to TOP.
- Allows you to choose which interface to monitor.
If you want to install iftop on your computer, run the command below in your terminal.
$ sudo apt install iftop
Nload is a command-line application with a user-friendly interface that allows for real-time network traffic monitoring and bandwidth utilization.
Like Iftop, Nload is aimed at single-system Linux users, but it can also be used in small Linux networks.
Nload allows you to keep track of both incoming and outgoing traffic reports separately. The tool first captures all network traffic statistics before displaying the information in two configurable graphs.
A graphical display assists in quickly gaining an overview of network traffic and monitoring inbound and outbound traffic.
It also shows details such as the total quantity of data transported and the minimum and maximum network consumption.
The following are some of Nload’s standout features:
- The output is visualized using a simple and easy-to-read console.
- Graphical display of incoming and outgoing traffic.
- You also obtain information on the overall quantity of data consumed and the minimum and maximum network utilization.
To install Nload on your machine, use the following command.
$ sudo apt install nload
IPTraf is a network monitoring program based on Ncurses that can be used to track incoming and outgoing network traffic in Linux.
It’s simple to use and has a variety of customizable choices to help you find the exact information you need.
IPTraf is the perfect program for monitoring IP traffic, analyzing general interface network information, and obtaining detailed interface statistics.
Here’s a closer look at some of IPTraf main features:
- It comes with a Local Area Network statistics module that can display network activity statistics on other devices in your network
- A general statistics interface that displays a lot of valuable data
- Supports a large number of different network cards
- Ethernet, FDDI, ISDN, SLIP, PPP, and loopback interfaces are all supported.
- Features a full-screen and menu-driven operation.
Run the following command in your terminal to install IPTraf on your system.
$ sudo apt install iptraf
Monitorix is a specialized monitoring tool that can track system resources as well as network bandwidth.
The tool can track usage statistics and network traffic consumption information from an unlimited number of devices, and it also has excellent support for embedded devices.
Monitorix is an excellent choice for monitoring small to medium-sized networks because it can support IPv4 and IPv6 connections, packet flow, traffic error graphs, and up to nine discs per network interface.
Here are some of Monitorix most notable features:
- IPv4 and IPv6 connections are supported.
- Graphs of packet flow and traffic errors are displayed.
- Up to 9 discs can be used per network interface.
- There is no limit to the number of processors or cores that can be used.
- It can monitor an unlimited number of devices within a network.
Use the following command in your terminal to install Monitorix on your computer.
$ sudo apt install monitorix
Bmon (Bandwidth Monitor) is a Linux command-line utility for monitoring network bandwidth and estimating rates.
It monitors and records network-related statistics on your machine before visualizing the data in a graph which makes bandwidth usage information easy to understand.
The following are some of its important characteristics:
- A command-line utility that is basic and straightforward to use.
- Displays networking-related statistics in an attractive format.
- Has the option to receive networking data as a programmable text output that can be easily scripted
Enter the following command in your terminal to try out bmon on your system.
$ sudo apt install bmon
CBM is a basic command-line utility that shows the current network traffic flowing through all connected devices in a colored display to make the output more user-friendly.
The tool is perfect for new Linux users who might be overwhelmed by the amount of information on the screen.
It displays the number of bytes received, transferred, and total bytes for each connected network interface, allowing you to conveniently monitor network capacity.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the essential features of CBM:
- Beginners will find the UI to be uncluttered and straightforward.
- Important information such as bytes received, bytes forwarded, and total bandwidth consumed is displayed.
- The colored output shows all network statistics for all devices connected to the network.
If you want to install CBM on your machine, type the following command into the terminal.
$ sudo apt install cbm
iPerf/iPerf3 is a useful networking tool created specifically to test and monitor the maximum bandwidth that may be achieved on IP networks.
It has a comprehensive feature set that allows you to monitor network throughput across TCP, SCTP, and UDP.
However, the program requires a server and a client to run the checks that report the bandwidth loss and other helpful network performance parameters.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most important features of iPerf3:
- It can be used to measure TCP and SCTP bandwidth.
- It can be used to quantify packet loss and delay jitter over UDP
- Both IPv4 and IPv6 are supported.
- You can run the server as a daemon (-D option)
- The server is capable of handling several connections and does not shut down after a single test.
Execute the following command in the terminal to install iPerf/iPerf3 on your PC.
$ sudo apt install iperf3
Darkstat is a user-friendly web-based cross-platform network traffic analyzer that can also be launched from the command line.
Darkstat works by capturing real-time network traffic and machine usage statistics. It then shows the reports in a graphical style over HTTP, making it extremely easy to notice any irregularities in bandwidth utilization.
Below is a list of all of Darkstat’s essential characteristics:
- It has a web interface that displays all traffic data in graphical form over HTTP.
- Supports asynchronous reverse DNS resolution via a child process.
- Both IPv4 and IPv6 are supported.
- Comes with an embedded web server with deflate.
Run this command in your system terminal to install Darkstat on your PC.
$ sudo apt install darkstat
Htop is an interactive process viewer and manager for Unix-like operating systems, such as Linux and its various distros.
Htop was created as a UNIX-only alternative to the TOP (Table of Process) application. But Htop is a far more advanced Linux process tracking tool than “TOP” because it allows you to monitor network activity on your system and allows you to kill any process that is consuming resources without knowing its PID (process path).
Here’s a quick rundown of Htop’s primary features:
- Fast speed —it shows all of the system data in a matter of seconds.
- You can kill any process even if you don’t know its process path.
- Extremely user-friendly — mouse actions are supported.
- To see all of the listed processes, you can scroll both horizontally and vertically.
Type the following command in the terminal to start the utility.
These are a few network monitoring tools for Linux appropriate for both single Linux computer users and small to medium-sized networks. These tools should assist you in effectively monitoring bandwidth networks in Linux and detecting any anomalies that could jeopardize your performance.