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How To List All Internet Connections on Your Ubuntu System

Ubuntu 10

In this article, we will delve into the various methods you can use to list all internet connections on your Ubuntu system. This can be a handy tool for diagnosing network issues, monitoring bandwidth usage, or simply keeping an eye on your system’s network activity. We will cover the use of command-line tools like netstat and ss, as well as GUI-based tools for those who prefer a graphical interface.

Quick Answer

To list all internet connections on your Ubuntu system, you can use command-line tools like netstat and ss. These tools allow you to view TCP and UDP connections and provide information about the processes associated with each connection. Additionally, there are GUI-based tools like Ntop and Netactview available for those who prefer a graphical interface.

Understanding Network Connections

Before we dive into the tools and commands, it’s important to understand what we mean by “listing all internet connections”. Each time your system communicates over the network, it establishes a connection. This could be anything from a web browser fetching a webpage, to a background process checking for software updates.

These connections are made using protocols, primarily TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol). TCP is used when reliability is crucial, while UDP is used for speed when the occasional lost packet is acceptable.

Using the netstat Command

netstat is a versatile command-line tool that can display network connections, routing tables, interface statistics, and more. To use netstat to list all active internet connections, open a terminal and run the following command:

netstat -t -u

Here, -t and -u are options that tell netstat to display TCP and UDP connections, respectively.

If you want to continuously display the connections, you can add the -c option:

netstat -t -u -c

This will show a continuous display of TCP and UDP connections similar to how top shows processes.

Using the ss Command

ss is another powerful command-line tool for investigating sockets and network connections. It is considered to be a modern replacement for netstat. To list all TCP connections, you can use the following command:

ss --tcp -all

In this command, --tcp tells ss to display TCP connections, and -all tells it to display all connections, regardless of their state.

You can also include information about the owner process of the connections using the --processes option:

ss --tcp -all --processes

Advanced Tools

For more advanced network monitoring, tools like nethogs, jnettop, and iftop can be very useful. These tools provide a more detailed view of the connections and can help you identify the processes consuming the most bandwidth.

You can install these tools from the Ubuntu repositories using the apt package manager. For example, to install nethogs, you would use the following command:

sudo apt install nethogs

Once installed, you can run nethogs with the following command:

sudo nethogs

This will display a real-time list of processes and their network usage.

GUI Tools

If you prefer a graphical interface, tools like Ntop and Netactview are excellent choices. Ntop is a high-performance, low-resource tool that provides a wealth of information about network traffic, while Netactview provides a simpler, more straightforward view of active network connections.

You can install these tools from the Ubuntu repositories using the apt package manager. For example, to install Ntop, you would use the following command:

sudo apt install ntop

Once installed, you can run Ntop by typing ntop into a terminal.

Conclusion

Listing all internet connections on your Ubuntu system can be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on your needs and preferences. Whether you prefer the simplicity of netstat, the power of ss, the detail of nethogs and jnettop, or the graphical interfaces of Ntop and Netactview, Ubuntu provides a wealth of tools for monitoring and managing your network connections.

What is the difference between TCP and UDP?

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a reliable and connection-oriented protocol that ensures the delivery of data packets in the correct order. It is commonly used for applications that require error-free and ordered data transmission, such as web browsing and email. UDP (User Datagram Protocol), on the other hand, is a connectionless and unreliable protocol that focuses on speed and efficiency. It does not guarantee the delivery or order of data packets, making it suitable for real-time applications like video streaming and online gaming.

How can I install `netstat` and `ss` on my Ubuntu system?

Both netstat and ss are typically pre-installed on Ubuntu systems. However, if they are not available, you can install them using the apt package manager. To install netstat, run the following command in a terminal:

sudo apt install net-tools

To install ss, run the following command:

sudo apt install iproute2
Can I use the GUI tools mentioned in the article on other Linux distributions?

Yes, you can use the GUI tools mentioned in the article on other Linux distributions as well. However, the installation commands may vary depending on the package manager used by the distribution. You can search for the tool’s package name in the distribution’s package repository and install it using the appropriate package manager command.

How can I uninstall a tool that I installed using `apt`?

To uninstall a tool that you installed using apt, you can use the following command:

sudo apt remove [tool-name]

Replace [tool-name] with the name of the tool you want to uninstall. This command will remove the tool and any associated dependencies that are no longer needed.

How can I check my network bandwidth usage on Ubuntu?

To check your network bandwidth usage on Ubuntu, you can use tools like nethogs, jnettop, or iftop as mentioned in the article. These tools provide real-time monitoring of network connections and can display the bandwidth usage of individual processes. Install the desired tool using apt and run it from the terminal to view the bandwidth usage.

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