Ubuntu – How to find out which process is eating up the bandwidth


I think I'm being the victim of a bug here. Sometimes while I'm working (I still don't know why), my network traffic goes up to 200 KB/s and stays that way, even tough I'm not doing anything internet-related.

This sometimes happens to me with the CPU usage. When it does, I just run a top command to find out which process is responsible and then kill it. Problem is: I have no way of knowing which process is responsible for my high network usage. Both the resource monitor and the top command only tell me my total network usage, neither of them tells me process specific network info.

I've found questions here about monitoring total bandwidth usage, but, as I mentioned, that's not what I need. Is there another command I can use to find out which process is getting out of hand?

The command iftop gives results that disagree entirely with the information reported by System Monitor. While the latter claims there's high network traffic, the former claims there's barely 1 KB/s.

I've already tried killing all the obvious ones (Firefox, update-manager, Pidgin, etc) with no luck. So far, restarting the machine is the only way I found of getting rid of the issue.

Best Answer

I've had a lot of success with nethogs. It has to run as root but there are different ways you can sort the statistics (like KB/s or total bandwidth monitored since nethogs started).

Also, if you use wireless you need to pass the device to it.

Install it with command: sudo apt-get install nethogs

Example: sudo nethogs wlan0

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