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Dated: Apr. 29, 2013

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Linux
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While you are trying to access your blog you notice that the page is loading very slowly. You see that Dropbox is syncing something and you know that YouTube is on. You have torrents you want to download. The easiest way would be to turn all that off and let the blog load, but that is not what you want. You want to know what is eating your internet speed. NetHogs is a textual application that serves that purpose.

NetHogs is part of all popular treasuries from Linux. For example, in the Linux Mint app you can install through Software Manager. Just type „nethogs“ in the search field and install the first package that appears  among the results. In the latest version of Ubuntu it is possible that NetHogs won’t be found in the Software center, because in it you usually can’t install text apps. If that is the case with you, you can install it with this command:
 
Nethogs Toolsudo apt-get install nethogs
 
On Arch Linux, NetHogs is installed from the Community treasury:
 
pacman -S nethogs
 
NetHogs is available also in distributions Debain, Gentoo and SuSE. If you compile NetHogs from the source code, you need to have installed two other packages on the system - libncurses5-dev and libpcap0.8-dev. You will probably be encouraged by the fact that NetHogs is started with a simple command:
 
sudo nethogs nameofdevice
 
Instead of “nameofdevice” you type in the name of the network adapter that you use to access the Internet. For example, if your computer is attached to a Wireless network you type in:
 
sudo nethogs wlan0
 
if your computer is attached to a cable network (LAN)  you type in:
 
sudo nethogs eth0
 
The display of the program is very simple. The column PID contains identification numbers of the application process. In the user column you can see the name of the user that started the app, while the column PROGRAM has its path. The column DEV shows the device where the traffic is happening and it is usually the same for all apps. The last two columns are SENT and RECEIVED that contain upstream or downstream flow.
 
What to do with major consumers? That is a complicated problem. There are various ways to put restrictions on an app, including advanced techniques as bandwidth shaping. As for most user programs, it is enough to stop their activities or change their configuration. For example, if your torrent applications pulls more than it needs, decrease the maximum bandwidth that it can use.
 
If an application uses most of the bandwidth, and it is started by the root user, then it is most likely that you can’t stop it through the graphic interface, nor change its configuration. You can send a TERM signal to such applications that will tell them that you want to stop it or close it. For example, if you want to stop a program whose process ID number is 123, then you will do it with the following command.
 
sudo kill -S TERM 123
 
NetHogs (net tool) is released as Free Software under the GNU General Public License.

M.B.

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