IPTraf - A Free Network Monitor in Linux

April 30, 2006
IPTraf is an ncurses-based, interactive, colorful, IP LAN monitor that generates various network statistics. Developed by Gerard Paul Java, IPTraf network statistics utility is released under GPL.

IPTraf displays TCP info, UDP counts, ICMP and OSPF information, Ethernet load info, node stats, IP checksum errors, and other information related to your network.

How to install IPTraf

Iptraf is included in the repositories of most Linux distributions. You can use the respective package management tool of your Linux distribution to install IPTraf on your machine.

For example, in Fedora Linux, you can install IPTraf using Yum package manager.

$ su -c 'yum install iptraf'

In Ubuntu iptraf can be installed using apt-get tool or through Ubuntu Software Center. Here is how you install IPTraf using apt-get.

$ sudo apt-get install iptraf

IPTraf Usage

At the basic level, you can start IPTraf without any command-line options as shown below.

$ sudo iptraf

This starts IPTraf in interactive mode, with the various facilities accessed through the main menu as shown in the screen shot below.

iptraf network monitor
IPTraf interactive mode

In interactive mode, IPTraf shows a menu from which you are asked to choose from different options.

You can choose to start IPTraf as - an IP traffic monitor, a LAN station monitor, display interface statistics - both general and detailed, and get statistical breakdowns by TCP/UDP port or Packet size.

Examples of IPTraf usage

Start monitoring TCP and UDP traffic on the interface (ppp0) -

$ sudo iptraf -s ppp0

ppp0 represents my wireless USB modem. You should replace it with the interface in your computer such as eth0.

Start displaying detailed statistics for the interface ppp0.

$ sudo iptraf -d ppp0

IPTraf network statistics
IPTraf detailed statistics

Display detailed statistics for the interface ppp0 - but only for 10 minutes.

$ sudo iptraf -d ppp0 -t 10

When started in interactive mode, you can access the IPTraf configuration menu ...

IPTraf configuration menu
IPTraf Configuration menu

... which allows you to set / unset a whole lot of other options such as toggling reverse DNS lookups, forcing promiscuous mode, source MAC address in traffic monitor and much more.

Additional Resources

IPTraf home page - iptraf.seul.org.


  • ¡¡Great article!!

    I translated it so that your readers can read it in Spanish too at http://www.enespanol.com.ar/2006/04/29/monitoreo-de-redes-en-casa/

    Needless to say, licences have been respected.

  • This is a very useful piece of network monitoring software. I see that it does not have the learning curve that other similar tools need.

    And a nice review of it too :)


  • basically this is ethereal w/o the advanced features and the gui, correct?