View Full Version : python bandwidth monitoring

March 13th, 2008, 01:47 AM
Hey everyone,

I'd like to write a simple script to monitor bandwidth. I would like to do it in Python. I have done some searching and haven't turned up much. I have also never really done any socket programming in python, but I have in Java and C++.

Basically, I want to monitor the incoming and out going Kb/s

Any ideas? Perhaps some linux command I could hook into and parse the output of?



March 13th, 2008, 02:09 AM
in *nix, you can use ntop. If you want to code your own using Python, googling for "Python network monitoring" might bring you some hits

March 13th, 2008, 02:35 AM
Thanks I'll give ntop a try. I am only concerned with *nix for now.

I appreciate the suggestion.

March 13th, 2008, 04:27 AM
links/guides like:
http://docs.python.org/lib/module-socket.html (docs - of course you checked that :-) )
http://www.amk.ca/python/howto/sockets/ (AMK is known expert)
http://aspn.activestate.com/ASPN/Cookbook/Python/Recipe/52218 - ActiveState CookBook is well-known code samples repository, reviewed by experts

more from ASPN: http://www.google.com/search?q=python+socket+recipe+site%3Aactivestate.c om

March 13th, 2008, 01:14 PM
I did look at the docs last night and had some ideas.

I'll check out your other links tonight. Thanks for the suggestions!

Also, just to clarify what exactly I am trying to do, here is my little project.

I am essentially trying to save myself some energy(and computer lifetime) by writing a program to shutdown my computer on various events.

So far it can do it on a timer and on a process. Essentially I can say "computer when process X finishes turn yourself off.

Now what I want to do is say "Computer when the downloads all finish turn off"

I hope to do this by monitoring the bandwidth and seeing when it gets to around 0 and stays that way for a minute. That way it won't matter whether it is a bit torrent, browser based download, FTP or whatever.

So thats why I need a way to hook into the bandwidth monitoring. I often do large downloads and long running processes over night. Sometimes they finish halfway through the night, but I don't get out of bed to check. So the computer sits on half a night wasting power.

The program is coming along ok, I have most of the back end done, with the exception of the bandwidth monitor.

Thanks for all the suggestions,


March 13th, 2008, 04:00 PM
So thats why I need a way to hook into the bandwidth monitoring. I often do large downloads and long running processes over night. Sometimes they finish halfway through the night, but I don't get out of bed to check. So the computer sits on half a night wasting power.

an even better solution to computer wasting power: just install folding@home (and join teamubuntu (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/FoldingAtHomeTeamUbuntu) of course), and have it do usefull processing with all that idle cpu time while it sits around at night. :) that way, even if your dl finishes early, your comp is still doing useful work. :)

March 13th, 2008, 05:00 PM
You might consider monitoring /proc/net/dev, which prints out packet info for all your network interfaces.

March 14th, 2008, 03:25 AM
You might consider monitoring /proc/net/dev, which prints out packet info for all your network interfaces.

That was exactly what I needed! I think I got it, it appears to be within 1 Kb/s of the system monitor and that could be just due to timing of my update vs their update.

Thanks for the great suggestion!

March 14th, 2008, 03:40 AM
Here is the code for those curious and those who stumble upon this thread in the future.

Suggestios welcome, this certainly isn't a final version. I am also still learning python, so bear with me.

Basically this class encapsulates a monitor for an interface. You can cal it's update method to update it's state. Output just makes it print a dump of this state.

Future enhancements I'd like to see mainly including thread this so it updates itself every second.

Like I said, not perfect, but a definite proof of concept.

#Author: Jon Parise jlparise@gmail.com
#Date: 3/13/2008
#Description: Montiors the specified interface and stores it's current state. This includes read/write bytes, bytes per second
#and other information.

import time

class ConnectionMonitor():

def __init__(self,name):
"""Construct it based on a name like eth1, it will monitor that name"""
self.__netFile = open("/proc/net/dev",'r')

self.__name = name
self.__lastCheckTime = time.time()
self.__timeDiff = 0

self.__lastReadBytes = 0
self.readBytes = 0
self.readPackets = 0
self.readErrs = 0
self.readDrop = 0
self.reafFifo = 0
self.readFrames = 0
self.readCompressed = 0
self.readMulticast = 0
self.readBps = 0
#parse write info
self.__lastWriteBytes =0
self.writeBytes = 0
self.writePackets = 0
self.writeErrs = 0
self.writeDrop = 0
self.writeFifo = 0
self.writeFrames = 0
self.writeCompressed = 0
self.writeMulticast = 0
self.writeBps =0


Inputs - self - reference to this class instance

Description: Updates the state of the interface and calculates Bytes per second
def update(self):
self.__netFile = open("/proc/net/dev",'r')
line =" "
found = False
#read all the lines till the right one is found
while not line == None and not found:
line = self.__netFile.readline()
#find only the line with this name
if line.find(self.__name) > 0:
self.__netLine = line
found = True

tempSplit = line.split(" ")

netSplit = []
for item in tempSplit:
if len(item) >0:

#update times
prevTime = self.__lastCheckTime
currTime = time.time()

self.__timeDiff = currTime - prevTime

self.__lastCheckTime = currTime
#update last read/write bytes
self.__lastReadBytes = self.readBytes
self.__lastWriteBytes = self.writeBytes

#parse read info
self.readBytes = int(netSplit[0].lstrip(self.__name + ":"))
self.readPackets = int(netSplit[1])
self.readErrs = int(netSplit[2])
self.readDrop = int(netSplit[3])
self.reafFifo = int(netSplit[4])
self.readFrames = int(netSplit[5])
self.readCompressed = int(netSplit[6])
self.readMulticast = int(netSplit[7])

#parse write info
self.writeBytes = int(netSplit[8])
self.writePackets = int(netSplit[9])
self.writeErrs = int(netSplit[10])
self.writeDrop = int(netSplit[11])
self.writeFifo = int(netSplit[12])
self.writeFrames = int(netSplit[13])
self.writeCompressed = int(netSplit[14])
self.writeMulticast = int(netSplit[15].rstrip() )

#doe Kbs calcs
if self.__timeDiff > 0:
self.readBps = ((self.readBytes - self.__lastReadBytes) / self.__timeDiff)
self.writeBps = ((self.writeBytes - self.__lastWriteBytes) / self.__timeDiff)

#Bad interface name
print "Name:" + name + "Not in file!"

inputs - self - reference for this class instance

description - prints all the information currently stored in this instance.
def output(self):
print "Read information:\n"

print "b/s: ", self.readBps
print "Bytes: ", self.readBytes
print "Packets: ", self.readPackets
print "Errs: ", self.readErrs
print "Drop: ", self.readDrop
print "FIFO: ", self.reafFifo
print "Frames: ", self.readFrames
print "Compressed: ", self.readCompressed
print "Multicast: ", self.readMulticast

print "\n\nWrite information:\n"

print "b/s: ", self.writeBps
print "Bytes: ", self.writeBytes
print "Packets: ", self.writePackets
print "Errs: ", self.writeErrs
print "Drop: ", self.writeDrop
print "FIFO: ", self.reafFifo
print "Frames: ", self.writeFrames
print "Compressed: ", self.writeCompressed
print "Multicast: ", self.writeMulticast

#test for eth1 just loops forever printing the b/s if it is greater than 0
if __name__ == "__main__":

cm = ConnectionMonitor("eth1")

while True:

if cm.readBps > 0:
print "Read b/s: ", cm.readBps
print "Bytes: ", cm.readBytes
if cm.writeBps > 0:
print "Write b/s: ", cm.writeBps
print "Bytes: ", cm.writeBytes