The 10 Best Linux Network Monitoring Tools

Networking Tools are like a swiss army knife for the system administrators for troubleshooting system issues. Here's are the best Linux Network Monitoring Tools.

Having total control over your network is essential to prevent programs from overusing your network resources and slowing down the overall performance. This is why you should install a network monitoring tool on your system, giving you a visual overview of everything that’s happening on your network.

To help you out, we have put together a list of the ten best Linux network monitoring tools. All the tools mentioned here are open-source and follows an easy and intuitive UI (mostly command-line based) to help you monitor the bandwidth usage on your network.

Best Network Monitoring Tools for Linux

Without further ado, let’s get started.



Starting off our list, we have IFTOP (Interface TOP), a simple and straightforward network monitoring tool for Linux. It is a command-line utility that can help you get a quick overview of the network activities on an interface.

It is ideal for Linux users who just want to check in why their network speed dropped all of a sudden. You will get access to a list of all the network usage bandwidth updated in real-time.

Here are some notable features worth mentioning:

  • Extremely lightweight and user-friendly
  • Ideal for single-user Linux systems
  • Follows a TOP-like command-line interface
  • Option to specify which interface you want to monitor

if you’re going to install IFTOP on your Ubuntu PC, type in the following command in your terminal.

$ sudo apt install iftop

2. VnStat


Up next, we have VnStat – another console-based utility that can help you monitor network traffic and bandwidth utilization. The tool will also give you a daily as well as a monthly overview of bandwidth consumed.

One of the best features of using this tool is that it will automatically log all the network traffic statistics by default that are still accessible even after a system reboot. This way, you can always come back at a later time and view the data to spot any abnormalities in bandwidth usage.

Some other key features include:

  • Light and minimal user interface
  • Populated statistics persist through system reboots
  • Can be used without root permission
  • Option to configure the data retention period
  • Ability to monitor multiple interfaces at the same time

Installing VnStat on your Ubuntu PC is just one command-line in the terminal.

$ sudo apt install vnstat

3. IPTraf


IPtraf is a Ncurses-based network monitoring utility that you can use to track the incoming and outgoing network traffic. It is super easy to use and offers a lot of configuration options to help you get the exact information you are looking for.

The tool is ideal for monitoring IP traffic, viewing general network information of an interface, as well as for getting detailed interface statistics.

Here is a more detailed look at some of its key features:

  • A general statistics interface displaying a lot of insightful data
  • LAN stats module that can display network activity stats on other devices in your network
  • Supports a wide range of “network cards”
  • Supports Ethernet, FDDI, ISDN, SLIP, PPP, and loopback interface types.
  • Full-screen, menu-based usage.

If you want to install IPTraf on your Ubuntu system, you need to use the following command in your terminal.

$ sudo apt install iptraf

4. Monitorix


Monitorix is a dedicated monitoring utility that can track both system resources and network bandwidth. You can also use the tool to monitor embedded devices as well.

The tool is powerful enough to help you track usage stats and network traffic data coming from potentially unlimited network devices. This makes it an excellent option for monitoring small to medium-scale networks.

Here is a look at some of its highlighted feature:

  • Supports both IPv4 and IPv6 connections
  • Shows packet traffic and traffic error graphs
  • Works with up to 9 discs per network interface
  • Supports an unlimited number of processors or cores.
  • Can monitor an unlimited number of devices per network

You can install Monitorix on your Ubuntu PC by typing in the following command in your terminal.

$ sudo apt install monitorix

5. bmon


bmon, short for Bandwidth Monitor, is another lightweight and straightforward network monitoring and debugging tool for Linux. It can track all the network-related stats on your system and then display it in a human-friendly fashion, which makes it readily digestible.

The tool supports various output methods that allow you to visualize the stats in different ways.

Here are its key features:

  • A simple and easy to use the command-line tool
  • Displays networking related stats in a visually pleasing way
  • Option to get the networking data as a programmable text output which is easy for scripting

If you want to try out bmon on your Ubuntu system, enter the following command in your terminal.

$ sudo apt install bmon

6. Darkstat


Darkstat is a web-based network traffic analyzer; however, you can launch it via the command line as well. It is super lightweight and will display your network traffic statistics in real-time.

The tool works by capturing network traffic information from your system, along with computer usage statistics. It then renders the data in a graphical format using HTTP. This makes it super quick to spot any sort of abnormalities in bandwidth usage.

Here we have highlighted all of its key features:

  • Comes with a web interface that can show all traffic data in graphical format over HTTP
  • Uses a child process to support asynchronous reverse DNS resolution
  • Supports both IPv4 and IPv6
  • Embedded web-server with deflate compression

To install Darkstat on your Ubuntu PC, you need to enter this command in your system terminal.

$ sudo apt install darkstat

7. iPerf

iPerf/iPerf3 is a handy networking tool that was designed to test and monitor the maximum bandwidth achievable on IP networks. It comes with a robust feature set that can help you track the network throughput over TCP, SCTP, and UDP.

That being said, the tool requires a server and a client to perform the tests. As such, it isn’t for Linux PC users who are simply looking to measure the network speeds on their system.

Here is a complete look at some of its main features:

  • Can help measure bandwidth over TCP and SCTP
  • Can help measure packet loss and delay jitter over UDP
  • Supports both IPv4 and IPv6
  • Run the server as a daemon (-D option)
  • The server handles multiple connections; doesn’t exit after a single test

To install iPerf/iPerf3 on your Ubuntu PC, just type in the following command in the terminal.

$ sudo apt install iperf3

8. CBM – (Color Bandwidth Meter)

CBM – Color Bandwidth Meter

CBM, short for Color Bandwidth Meter, is a clean and simple network monitoring tool designed explicitly for Ubuntu Linux and its derivative distros.

It is essentially a little command-line tool that can display the network traffic going through all your connected devices. The displayed output is colored to make it more user-friendly. It is ideal for new Linux users who can get overwhelmed by all the data on the screen.

Here is a quick look over some of the main features:

  • Simple, uncluttered UI that’s easily understandable for beginners
  • Displays essential data, including bytes, received, bytes transmitted, and total bandwidth used.
  • All network stats are displayed in the colored output.
  • Shows network statistics of all connected devices in the network

If you are looking to install CBM on your Ubuntu system, then just enter the following command in the terminal.

$ sudo apt install cbm

9. nload


With nload, you have a simple console application that offers real-time monitoring of network traffic and bandwidth usage. This, too, is targeted at users of single Linux systems but can be used for small Linux networks.

The tool first collects all the network traffic data and then displays them using two graphics showing the incoming and outgoing traffic.

These are some of its highlight features worth noting:

  • Simple, easy to read interface that visualizes the output.
  • Displays graphs showing incoming and outgoing traffic. You also get the stats on the total amount of data used as well as the min/max network usage.

You can use the following command to install nload on your Ubuntu system.

$ sudo apt install nload

10. Htop


Htop was developed as an alternative to the TOP (Table of Process) program designed for UNIX. It is an interactive process viewer and manager for the Unix-like system, including Linux and its popular distributions.

However, Htop is a much more advanced Linux process tracking tool than “TOP.” We have a dedicated article discussing how to use Htop, which you might find useful.

Overall, it is a powerful tool that can not only help you monitor the network activities on your system but can also kill any process that’s taking up resources without knowing the PID.

Here is a quick look at its main functionalities:

  • Lightning-fast – hence displays all the system data in a matter of seconds.
  • You can kill any process without knowing the PID.
  • Extremely user-friendly – supports mouse operations
  • Option to scroll both horizontally and vertically to see all the listed processes.

There is no need to install Htop separately on your Ubuntu system. You can invoke the tool by simply typing the following command in the terminal.

# htop

Wrapping Up

So these were our picks for the ten best Linux network monitoring tools. We hope you found the list to be useful and that it helped you in finding the best network usage tracking utility for your Linux system/server.

As you can see, we have included a diverse range of tools that are suited for single Linux systems to users running a small to medium scale network. These tools should help you efficiently monitor the network activities and detect any abnormalities that might be compromising the performance.

Nitish is a Technical Writer with five years of experience. He enjoys covering new tech and has a special love for Linux. He also has a keen interest in Blockchain and WordPress.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here




Mastering the SQLite Database in Python

SQLite is a relational database management system based on the SQL language; it is a serverless, Zero-configuration database engine. It is one of the...

Basics of Working with the SQLite Database in Python

A database is one of the most useful and popular files for storing data; they can be used to store any kind of data, including text, numbers, images, binary data, files, etc. SQLite is a relational database management system based on the SQL language. It is a C library, and it provides an API to work with other programming languages, including Python. It does not require a separate server process to be run as needed in large database engines like MySQL and Postgresql.

5 Ways to Check the Linux Version

When most people talk of Linux, they are always referring to a Linux distribution. However, this is not the case. Linux itself is a kernel which acts as a bridge between user applications and the hardware. When we talk of a Linux distribution, we refer to an operating system developed from the Linux kernel. A distribution comes with a package manager, pre-installed applications, a Desktop Environment, and several more features.

Getting Started with Linux Operating System

The Linux operating system brings forth a vibrant mix of features and security, making it the best alternative to macOS or Windows operating systems. In this post, we will give you a master guide on Getting started with Linux systems - taking you from a complete beginner to a level where you can begin testing the various Linux distributions available with much ease.

How to Create a Comprehensive Mail Server on Ubuntu

Postal is a free and open-source mail server used to send and receive emails. It comes loaded with tons of excellent features and functionalities, making it extremely popular among large organizations as well as in enterprise settings.

The 10 Best Linux Performance Monitoring Tools

Do you want to monitor the performance of your Linux system? Are you looking for some powerful performance monitoring tools to help you out? If you agree, it's your day as we have put together a detailed list of the ten best Linux performance monitoring tools.


Buyers who wish to go for a machine that is based on Linux often show interest in Chromebooks due to the form factor and extended battery life capabilities. Although ChromeOS power these machines, users can still miss out on a more genuine Linux experience. For those who happen to agree, the new Lemur Pro by System76 might get some heads turning.
Linux is growing faster than ever. As per the latest report, there is a drop in the Windows 10 market share for the first time, and Linux's market share has improved to 2.87% this month. Most of the features in the list were rolled out in the Pop OS 20.04. Let's a detailed look into the new features, how to upgrade, and a ride through video.

How to clone hard disk on Linux using Clonezilla

Disk cloning refers to the process of copying data from one disk to another, thus creating a one-to-one copy of the drive. Technically, this process is possible using the copy-and-paste method.

6 Best Linux Distros for Programmers and Developers

Linux distros have long been a favorite among programmers since the rise in popularity of the OS in the nineties. Programmers are technical by nature, and Linux distros appeal to that technical nature. Let's discuss why Linux is a great desktop OS for programmers and developers, and find out best distros suitable for them.

7 Best Ways to Kill Unresponsive Programs in Linux

For dealing with a frozen app or desktop, you can't use the CTRL+ALT+DEL in Linux system. Instead, there are powerful alternatives that come in handy in frustrating situations. We pick the best methods available for you.

6 best task managers for Linux

One of the essential tools in any Linux distribution is a Task Manager. It is a system monitor application that gives you a report of all programs running on your computer and the status of your RAM and CPU usage.