The unknown network monitor

I have a list of about 20 or 30 applications — mostly console-based — that I want to take a crack at in the next few weeks, once the end-of-year break starts. One of them I took a stab at today though, mostly because it’s tiny, but also because the output is rather promising. The problem is, I’m not really sure what to call it. Take a look for yourself.

There are a lot of console network monitors out there, and by a lot I mean a lot. What makes this one any better than the four or five that I already looked at, or endorse in particular?

Well, to be perfectly honest about it, this one is (a) simple, (b) straightforward, (c) resizes itself nicely when the terminal is adjusted, (d) uses color, and (e) is reasonably flexible.

In all seriousness. It’s a network monitor, and it doesn’t require root access to watch an access point. It only does one thing, requires almost nothing in the way of dependencies, the display is colorized and attractive, it doesn’t mind if the console changes shape while it’s running, and you can adjust the max levels on both sides to properly see what’s going up and down.

Any one of the net monitors I mentioned before had small, nitpicking faults. iftop is fantastic, but rather droll and requires sudo or root permission to watch a network point. slurm is likewise excellent, but doesn’t do well in terminal sizes outside the ordinary, and sometimes has a panic attack when resized. iptraf is good, but lacks that certain … “something.”

I could go on. My point here is this one is easy to build, easy to configure (with only three flags), easy to resize, easy on the eyes and easy to run. I don’t want to hold up a 6-year-old (according to the timestamps in the tarball) program as some sort of example of application perfection, but this one is a pretty good example.

If only I knew what it was called. The tarball is called “net,” the executable is called “monitor.” You tell me what it’s supposed to be called.

P.S.: Found in an offhand post in an ancient Arch Forum thread. Thank goodness for the Arch Forums. … :mrgreen:

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10 Responses to “The unknown network monitor”


  1. 1 fuxter 2009/12/20 at 2:23 AM

    this one is neat!
    precompiled binary in tarball worked for me!
    thanks

  2. 3 fvb 2009/12/27 at 9:08 AM

    Love this blog. Nice cli-app again this ‘net-monitor’. Just installed it, and like it (simple and small).

    Problem getting the graphics right though; on low/avarage net-traffic it shows no bars at all, only if I’m up- or downloading I get the bars on screen (I would like to see small bars on low traffic and large bars when up- or downloading at (max)speed). README-file says you can set –max_up and –max_down (in kb) but somehow can’t get it right. I’m on cable with max 2Mbit/s up and 10Mbit/s down. Love some advice to get it configured right.

    thanx, fvb

  3. 4 Roberto 2010/02/19 at 7:17 PM

    I can’t get it configured right either =/ The program works, but the graph ain’t showing up. I’ve tried the settings –max_up 1000 –max_down 2500, since I got ~1 MByte/s upstream and ~2.5 MByte/s upstream. It is run through SSH.

    Am I missing a library or so ?

    • 5 K.Mandla 2010/02/20 at 8:13 AM

      I don’t believe anything is missing. If it compiled and ran, then it is probably just a matter of finding the right scale for the display. :| Double check that it’s not reading that as 2500Mb, but I’m not sure that’s the problem. …

  4. 6 Eric Fraga 2010/11/17 at 6:39 PM

    I cannot find the original code for the monitor you introduce here but it doesn’t matter: I really like slurm! I had been using iftop but slurm is much nicer. Thanks.


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