This is the beginning of a FAQ for IPTraf.
Q: Could you include support for <this-and-that> interface?
A: Please read the README.interfaces file for what is needed for a new
interface type to be supported.
Q: I try to start IPTraf but it tells me that <facility> is already active
in another process. But I'm sure IPTraf isn't running at the time!
A: Probably due to a faulty installation or abnormal termination. If
you're sure you've installed the software properly, you may have stale
lock files from a previous abort. Just issue the iptraf command with the
-f parameter (iptraf -f). This will override stale locks and IPTraf should
Q: I want to configure IPTraf but it tells me only the first instance can
A: Similar to the previous question. Issue the iptraf command with the -f
NOTE: Versions prior to 2.6.2 did not properly erase stale lock files
when IPTraf aborted due to an insufficient screen size.
Q: Is there a way to make IPTraf run in the background and collect
statistics to a log file?
A: Prior to 2.1.0, there was no elegant way of doing so. Version 2.1.0
and later have the -B command-line parameter to force IPTraf to dump all
its screen output into oblivion and move into the background. See the
manual for details on background operation.
Q: I get the error message "Unable to open raw socket".
A: If you're using IPTraf 2.x, you must be running version 2.2.x of the
Linux kernel. Furthermore, the "Packet Socket" driver must be installed.
Most stock kernels include this driver already. Be sure to include it if
you're compiling a custom kernel.
Q: I'm getting a "cannot allocate memory" error but I've got loads of
A: The "cannot allocate memory" error is a reponse to the "segmentation
fault" condition (SIGSEGV). If you're sure it's not a memory condition on
your machine, please report it to me, and if possible, include a gdb trace
or strace output to help me debug.
Q: Is there Web/HTTP/HTML/whatever version available?
A: I've received several requests for this one. Perhaps in time, I've
been caught up in some work and some personal stuff. Suggestions on
implementation of such a feature are welcome. (Addition: I hope to get
this incorporated into the next major release. Who knows? If I have the
time, I might be able to WAP it in the near future :))
Q: It would be great if the statistics could be sorted.
A: As of version 2.3, sorting is now available with the IP traffic
monitor, TCP/UDP statistical breakdown, and LAN station monitor. Sorting
is invoked by pressing the S key and selecting a sort criterion.
(Note: versions 2.5.0 and later sorts the entries with the Quicksort
algorithm, which significantly cuts down the time to sort.)
Q: I want to run IPTraf from a Secure Shell terminal but the output of the
program causes a heavy load on the network. What should I do?
A: The output of the program is returned over the network, which in turn
tells IPTraf about the new traffic, which IPTraf then outputs, which is
then sent over the network... in other words, it's a feedback effect. The
solution to this is to set the screen update interval to 1 second or more.
To do that, go to Configuration... then select Timers... then Screen
update interval... and enter the interval value in seconds. One second
should be fine.
Q: Does IPTraf run on FreeBSD?
A: I wish it did. IPTraf was designed from the ground up to use the Linux
PF_PACKET mechanism, not libpcap. The main reasons for doing this are
less overhead and more control over the captured packets. Since Linux
kernel 2.2, the raw socket API featured more goodies, like the direction
of the packets.
I hope to be able to successfully port to FreeBSD, but I do not have the
resources to do so now.