How to Monitor Bandwidth on Linux


Linux is one of the best operating systems for advanced users. It lets to take control over the entire environment and have fun. Today, let’s take a look how to monitor bandwidth on Linux.

In this tutorial, we’ll be using a tool named “iftop” (Interface TOP). It’s a real-time bandwidth monitoring tool that works on the CLI. This tool will show you real-time network usage every 2, 10 & 40 seconds. Let’s get started.

Install iftop

This tool requires two dependencies – libpcap and libncurses. So, before installing the original software package, install them first. Use the following commands:

After the dependencies are installed, it’s time to install the real software. Use the following command(s) according to your Linux distro.

If your distro isn’t shown here, you can download and compile “iftop” for your distro. Download the latest TAR.GZ file from the site. Then, follow the commands in the downloaded file’s directory.

Iftop usage

To start iftop, run this command in the terminal.

Here’s a sample output. Remember, iftop is a CLI tool.


If you need to monitor any specific network interface, you have to identify the target attached network interfaces on your Linux. Use these commands to identify all the attached network interface.

Then, use this command to run iftop monitoring specifically the network interface. For example, if you have to monitor “wlp2s0”, use this command:

For turning on port display, use this command:


In order to disable hostname lookup, use “-n” flag.

Additionally, you can use “S” or “D” to show “sources”, “destination” etc. For the in-depth and detailed explanations and tricks of commands, use this command to view the integrated tutorial.

After you’re satisfied, you can turn off iftop by pressing “q” in the terminal window.

If the default screen of the terminal is scary, try out some of the best terminal emulators for Linux. It’ll help you relax a lot.

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