How to install iftop on Linux

Last updated on November 22, 2020 by Dan Nanni

iftop is a command line tool that shows a list of active network connections between local host and any remote host, sorted by their bandwidth usage. The list of top-ranking network connections (in terms of bandwidth usage) is periodically refreshed in an ncurses-based user interface. Using iftop, you can visually check the bidirectional bandwidth usage of different network connections in real time. In order to install iftop on Linux, follow the instructions below.

Install iftop on Ubuntu, Debian or Linux Mint

$ sudo apt-get install iftop

Install iftop on CentOS or RHEL

To install iftop on a RHEL-based system, first set up Repoforge repository, and then run the following command.

$ sudo yum install iftop

Install iftop on Fedora

To install iftop on Fedora, simply run:

$ sudo yum install iftop

Build iftop from the source on CentOS, RHEL or Fedora

If you would like to build and install the latest version of iftop manually, do the following.

$ sudo yum -y install ncurses-devel libpcap-devel
$ wget http://www.ex-parrot.com/~pdw/iftop/download/iftop-0.17.tar.gz
$ tar xvfvz iftop-0.17.tar.gz
$ cd iftop-0.17
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

Monitor Network Traffic in Real-Time with iftop

To monitor network traffic received on a specific network interface (e.g., eth0) with iftop, run the following command.

$ sudo iftop -i eth0

iftop supports rudimentary packet filtering rules with -f option. For example:

To monitor DNS traffic:

$ sudo iftop -i eth0 -f 'port domain'

To monitor HTTP traffic:

$ sudo iftop -i eth0 -f 'port http'

To monitor HTTP traffic while excluding a specific host:

$ sudo iftop -i eth0 -f 'port http and not host 192.168.10.130'

To monitor network traffic while ignoring broadcast packets:

$ sudo iftop -i eth0 -f 'not ether host ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff'

To monitor ICMP traffic:

$ sudo iftop -i eth0 -f 'icmp'

The screenshot of iftop looks as follows.

Screenshot of iftop command

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