.\" This file Copyright 1998-2005 Luca Deri <firstname.lastname@example.org>
.B "\\$1 "
.B "\\$1 | \\$2"
.TH NTOP 8 "August 2005 (ntop 3.2)"
ntop \- display top network users
.RB [ @filename ]
.RB [ -a | --access-log-file
.IR <path> ]
.RB [ -b | --disable-decoders ]
.RB [ -c | --sticky-hosts ]
.RB [ -e | --max-table-rows ]
.RB [ -f | --traffic-dump-file
.IR file> ]
.RB [ -g | --track-local-hosts ]
.RB [ -h | --help ]
.RB [ -j | --create-other-packets ]
.RB [ -l | --pcap-log
.IR <path> ]
.RB [ -m | --local-subnets
.IR <addresses> ]
.RB [ -n | --numeric-ip-addresses ]
.RB [ -o | --no-mac ]
.RB [ -p | --protocols
.IR <list> ]
.RB [ -q | --create-suspicious-packets ]
.RB [ -r | --refresh-time
.IR <number> ]
.RB [ -s | --no-promiscuous ]
.RB [ -t | --trace-level
.IR <number> ]
.RB [ -x
.IR <max_num_hash_entries> ]
.RB [ -w | --http-server
.IR <port> ]
.RB [ -z | --disable-sessions ]
.RB [ -A | --set-admin-password
.IR "password" ]
.RB [ -B | --filter-expression
.IR "expression" ]
.RB [ -C
.IR <config mode> ]
.RB [ -D | --domain
.IR <name> ]
.RB [ -F | --flow-spec
.IR <specs> ]
.RB [ -M | --no-interface-merge ]
.RB [ -N | --wwn-map
.IR <path> ]
.RB [ -O | ----output-packet-path
.IR <path> ]
.RB [ -P | --db-file-path
.IR <path> ]
.RB [ -Q | --spool-file-path
.IR <path> ]
.RB [ -U | --mapper
.IR <URL> ]
.RB [ -V | --version]
.RB [ -X
.IR <max_num_TCP_sessions> ]
.RB [ --disable-instantsessionpurge ]
.RB [ --disable-mutexextrainfo ]
.RB [ --disable-schedyield ]
.RB [ --disable-stopcap ]
.RB [ --fc-only ]
.RB [ --instance ]
.RB [ --no-fc ]
.RB [ --no-invalid-lun ]
.RB [ --p3p-cp ]
.RB [ --p3p-uri ]
.RB [ --skip-version-check ]
.RB [ --w3c ]
.RB [ -4 | --ipv4]
.RB [ -6 | --ipv6]
.RB [ -d | --daemon ]
.RB [ -i | --interface
.IR <name> ]
.RB [ -u | --user
.IR <user> ]
.RB [ -K | --enable-debug ]
.RB [ -L ]
.RB [ --pcap_setnonblock ]
.RB [ --use-syslog=
.IR <facility> ]
.RB [ --webserver-queue
.IR <number> ]
.RB [ -i | --interface
.IR <number|name> ]
.RB [ -W | --https-server
.IR <port> ]
.RB [ --ssl-watchdog ]
shows the current network usage. It displays a list of hosts that are
currently using the network and reports information concerning the (IP and non-IP)
traffic generated and received by each host.
may operate as a front-end collector (sFlow and/or netFlow plugins) or as a stand-alone
collector/display program. A web browser is needed to access the information captured by the
is a hybrid layer 2 / layer 3 network monitor, that is by default it uses the layer 2 Media
Access Control (MAC) addresses AND the layer 3 tcp/ip addresses.
is capable of associating the two, so that ip and non-ip traffic (e.g. arp, rarp) are combined
for a complete picture of network activity.
.SH "COMMAND\-LINE OPTIONS"
The text of
is copied - ignoring line breaks and comment lines (anything following a #) - into the
behaves as if all of the text had simply been typed directly on the command line.
For example, if the command line is "-t 3 @d -u ntop" and file d contains
just the line '-d', then the effective command line is -t 3 -d -u ntop.
Multiple @s are permitted. Nested @s (an @ inside the file) are not permitted.
options are "sticky", that is they just set an internal flag. Invoking
them multiple times doesn't change
behavior. However, options that set a value, such as --trace-level, will use the LAST value
given: --trace-level 2 --trace-level 3 will run as --trace-level 3.
3.1, many command-line options may also be set via the web browser interface. These changes
take effect on the next run of
and on each subsequent run until changed.
.It2 -a --access-log-file
does not maintain a log of HTTP requests to the internal web server.
Use this parameter to request logging and to specify the location of the file where these
HTTP requests are logged.
Each log entry is in Apache-like style.
The only difference between Apache and
logs is that an additional column has been added which has the time (in milliseconds) that
needed to serve the request.
Log entries look like this:
192.168.1.1 - - [04/Sep/2003:20:38:55 -0500] - "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 1489 4
192.168.1.1 - - [04/Sep/2003:20:38:55 -0500] - "GET /index_top.html HTTP/1.1" 200 1854 4
192.168.1.1 - - [04/Sep/2003:20:38:55 -0500] - "GET /index_inner.html HTTP/1.1" 200 1441 7
192.168.1.1 - - [04/Sep/2003:20:38:56 -0500] - "GET /index_left.html HTTP/1.1" 200 1356 4
192.168.1.1 - - [04/Sep/2003:20:38:56 -0500] - "GET /home_.html HTTP/1.1" 200 154/617 9
192.168.1.1 - - [04/Sep/2003:20:38:56 -0500] - "GET /home.html HTTP/1.1" 200 1100/3195 10
192.168.1.1 - - [04/Sep/2003:20:38:56 -0500] - "GET /About.html HTTP/1.1" 200 2010 10
This parameter is the complete file name of the access log. In prior releases it was
erroneously called --access-log-path.
.It2 -b --disable-decoders
This parameter disables protocol decoders.
Protocol decoders examine and collect information about layer 2 protocols such as
NetBIOS or Netware SAP, as well as about specific tcp/ip (layer 3) protocols, such as
DNS, http and ftp.
This support is specifically coded for each protocol and is different from the
capability to count raw information (packets and bytes) by protocol specified by the
-p | --protocols parameter, below.
Decoding protocols is a significant consumer of resources. If the
host is underpowered or monitoring a very busy network, you may wish to disable
protocol decoding via this parameter.
It may also be appropriate to use this parameter if you believe that
has problems handling some protocols that occur on your network.
Even if decoding is disabled, ftp-data traffic is still decoded to look for
passive ftp port commands.
.It2 -c --sticky-hosts
Use this parameter to prevent idle hosts from being purged from memory.
By default idle hosts are periodically purged from memory.
An idle host is identified when no packets from or to that host have been
monitored for the period of time defined by the value of
PARM_HOST_PURGE_MINIMUM_IDLE in globals-defines.h.
If you use this option, all hosts - active and idle - are retained in
memory for the duration of the
P2P users, port scans, popular web servers and other activity will cause
to record data about a large number of hosts.
On an active network, this will consume a significant - and always growing -
amount of memory.
It is strongly recommended that you use a filtering expression to limit the
hosts which are stored if you use --sticky-hosts.
The idle purge is a statistical one - a random selection of the eligible
hosts will be purged during each cycle. Thus it is possible on a busy system
for an idle host to remain in the
tables and appear 'active' for some considerable time after it is truly idle.
.It2 -d --daemon
This parameter causes ntop to become a daemon, i.e. a task which runs in the
background without connection to a specific terminal.
other than as a casual monitoring tool, you probably will want to use
If you are running as a daemon, the messages from
will be 'printed' on to stdout and thus dropped.
You probably don't want to do this.
So remember to also use the -L or --use-syslog options to save the
messages into the system log.
.It2 -e --max-table-rows
This defines the maximum number of lines that
will display on each generated HTML page. If there are more lines to be
displayed than this setting permits, only part of the data will be displayed.
There will be page forward/back arrows placed at the bottom of the page
for navigation between pages.
.It2 -f --traffic-dump-file
captures traffic from network interface cards (NICs) or from netFlow/sFlow
can also read data from a file - typically a tcpdump capture or the output from
one of the
packet capture options.
if you specify -f,
will not capture any traffic from NICs during or after the file has been read.
netFlow/sFlow capture - if enabled - would still be active.
This option is mostly used for debug purposes.
.It2 -g --track-local-hosts
tracks all hosts that it sees from packets captured on the various NICs.
Use this parameter to tell
to capture data only about local hosts. Local hosts are defined based on
the addresses of the NICs and those networks identified as local via the
-m | --local-subnets parameter.
This parameter is useful on large networks or those that see many hosts,
(e.g. a border router or gateway), where information about remote hosts is
not desired/required to be tracked.
.It2 -h --help
Print help information for
including usage and parameters.
.It2 -i --interface
Specifies the network interface or interfaces to be used by
for network monitoring.
If multiple interfaces are used (this feature is available only if ntop is compiled with
thread support) their names must be separated with a comma. For instance -i "eth0,lo".
If not specified, the default is the first Ethernet device, e.g. eth0. The specific
device that is 'first' is highly system dependent. Especially on systems where the
device name reflects the driver name instead of the type of interface.
By default, traffic information obtained by all the interfaces is merged together as if
the traffic was seen by only one interface.
Use the -M parameter to keep traffic separate by interface.
If you do not want
to monitor any interfaces, use -i none.
Under Windows, the parameter value is either the number of the interface or its name, e.g.
-h to see a list of interface name-number mappings (at the end of the help information).
.It2 -j --create-other-packets
This parameter causes
to create a dump file of the 'other' network traffic captured.
One file is created for each network interface where
'other' packets are found. The file is in tcpdump (pcap) format and is named
<path>/ntop-other-pkts.<device>.pcap, where <path> is defined by the
-O | --output-packet-path parameter.
This file is useful for understanding these unclassified packets.
.It2 -l --pcap-log
This parameter causes a dump file to be created of the network traffic captured by
in tcpdump (pcap) format. This file is useful for debug, and may be read back into
by the -f | --traffic-dump-file parameter. The dump is made after processing any
filter expression (
never even sees filtered packets).
The output file will be named
), where <path> is defined by the -O | --output-packet-path parameter and <log> is
defined by this -l | --pcap-log parameter.
.It2 -m --local-subnets
determines the ip addresses and netmasks for each active interface. Any traffic on
those networks is considered local. This parameter allows the user to define additional
networks and subnetworks whose traffic is also considered local in
reports. All other hosts are considered remote.
Commas separate multiple network values.
Both netmask and CIDR notation may be used, even mixed together, for instance
The local subnet - as defined by the interface address(es) - is/are always local
and do not need to be specified. If you do give the same value as a NIC's local
address, a harmless warning message is issued.
.It2 -n --numeric-ip-addresses
resolves IP addresses using a combination of active (explicit) DNS queries and
passive sniffing. Sniffing of DNS responses occurs when
receives a network packet containing the response to some other user's DNS query.
captures this information and enters it into
DNS cache, in expectation of shortly seeing traffic addressed to that host. This way
significantly reduces the number of DNS queries it makes.
This parameter causes
to skip DNS resolution, showing only numeric IP addresses instead of the symbolic
This option can useful when the DNS is not present or quite slow.
.It2 -o --no-mac
is a hybrid layer 2/3 network monitor. That is, it uses both the lower level, physical
device address - the MAC (Media Access Control) address - and the higher level,
logical, tcp/ip address (the familiar www.ntop.org or 22.214.171.124 address).
to link the logical addresses to a physical machine with multiple addresses
(This occurs with virtual hosts or additional addresses assigned to the interface, etc.)
to present consolidated reporting.
This parameter specifies that
should not trust the MAC addresses but just use the IP addresses.
Normally, since the MAC address must be globally unique, the dual nature of
is a benefit and provides far better information about the network than is available via
a pure layer 2 or pure layer 3 monitor.
Under certain circumstances - whenever
is started on an interface where MAC addresses cannot be really trusted - you may
require this option.
Situations which may require this option include port/VLAN mirror, some cases with
switches and spanning tree protocol, and (reportedly) some specific models of Ethernet
switches which re-write MAC addresses of the packets they process.
Normally, you discover that this option is necessary when you observe that hosts seem
to change their addresses or information about different machines get lumped together.
Note that with this option, information which is dependent upon the MAC
addresses (non tcp/ip protocols like IPX) will not be collected nor displayed.
.It2 -p --protocols
This parameter is used to specify the TCP/UDP protocols that
will monitor. The format is <label>=<protocol list> [, <label>=<protocol list>], where
label is used to symbolically identify the <protocol list>. The format of <protocol list>
is <protocol>[|<protocol>], where <protocol> is either a valid protocol specified inside the
/etc/services file or a numeric port range (e.g. 80, or 6000-6500).
A simple example is --protocols="HTTP=http|www|https|3128,FTP=ftp|ftp-data", which
reduces the protocols displayed on the "IP" pages to three:
Host Domain Data HTTP FTP Other IP
ns2.attbi.com <flag> 954 63.9 % 0 0 954
126.96.36.199.akamai.com <flag> 240 16.1 % 240 0 0
188.8.131.52.akamai.com <flag> 240 16.1 % 240 0 0
toolbarqueries.google.com <flag> 60 4.0 % 60 0 0
If the <protocol list> is very long you may store it in a file (for instance protocol.list).
To do so, specify the file name instead of the <protocol list> on the command line. e.g.
.B ntop -p protocol.list
If the -p parameter is omitted the following default value is used:
HTTP=http|www|https|3128 3128 is Squid, the HTTP cache
DirectConnect=0 Dummy port as this is a pure P2P protocol
NOTE: To resolve protocol names to port numbers, they must be specified in
the system file used to list tcp/udp protocols and ports, which is typically
/etc/services file. You will have to match the names in that file, exactly.
Missing or unspecified (non-standard) ports must be specified by number, such
as 3128 in our examples above.
If you have a file named /etc/protocols, don't get confused by it, as that's
the Ethernet protocol numbers, which are not what you're looking for.
.It2 -q --create-suspicious-packets
This parameter tells
to create a dump file of suspicious packets.
There are many, many, things that cause a packet to be labeled as 'suspicious', including:
Detected ICMP fragment
Detected Land Attack against host
Detected overlapping/tiny packet fragment
Detected traffic on a diagnostic port
Host performed ACK/FIN/NULL scan
Host rejected TCP session
HTTP/FTP/SMTP/SSH detected at wrong port
Malformed TCP/UDP/ICMP packet (packet too short)
Packet # %u too long
Received a ICMP protocol Unreachable from host
Sent ICMP Administratively Prohibited packet to host
Smurf packet detected for host
TCP connection with no data exchanged
TCP session reset without completing 3-way handshake
Two MAC addresses found for the same IP address
UDP data to a closed port
Unknown protocol (no HTTP/FTP/SMTP/SSH) detected (on port 80/21/25/22)
Unusual ICMP options
When this parameter is used, one file is created for each network interface where
suspicious packets are found. The file is in tcpdump (pcap) format and is named
<path>/ntop-suspicious-pkts.<device>.pcap, where <path> is defined by the
-O | --output-packet-path parameter.
.It2 -r --refresh-time
Specifies the delay (in seconds) between automatic screen updates for those
generated HTML pages which support them. This parameter allows you to leave
your browser window open and have it always displaying nearly real-time data from
The default is 3 seconds. Please note that if the delay is very short (1 second
might not be able to process all of the network traffic.
.It2 -s --no-promiscuous
Use this parameter to prevent
from setting the interface(s) into promiscuous mode.
An interface in promiscuous mode will accept ALL Ethernet frames, regardless of
whether they directed (addressed) to the specific network interface (NIC) or not.
This is an essential part of enabling
to monitor an entire network. (Without promiscuous mode,
will only see traffic directed to the specific host it is running on, plus
broadcast traffic such as the arp and dhcp protocols.
Even if you use this parameter, the interface could well be in promiscuous mode if
another application enabled it.
passes this setting on to libpcap, the packet capture library. On many systems,
a non-promiscuous open of the network interface will fail,
since the libpcap function on most systems require it to capture raw packets
captures raw packets so that we may view and analyze the layer 2 - MAC - information).
Thus on most systems,
must probably still be started as root, and this option is largely ornamental. If
it fails, you will see a ***FATALERROR*** message referring to pcap_open_live() and
then an information message, "Sorry, but on this system, even with -s, it appears
that ntop must be started as root".
.It2 -t --trace-level
This parameter specifies the 'information' level of messages that you wish
to display (on stdout or to the log).
The higher the trace level number the more information that is displayed.
The trace level ranges between 0 (no trace) and 5 (full debug tracings).
The default trace value is 3.
Trace level 0 is not quite zero messages. Fatal errors and certain startup/shutdown
messages are always displayed.
Trace level 1 is used to display errors only, level 2 for both errors and warnings, and
level 3 displays error, warning and informational messages.
Trace level 4 is called 'noisy' and it is - generating many messages about the internal
Trace level 5 and above are 'noisy' plus extra logs, i.e. all possible messages, with a
file:line tag prepended to every message.
.It2 -u --user
Specifies the user
should run as after it initializes.
must normally be started as root so that it has sufficient privileges to open the
network interfaces in promiscuous mode and to receive raw frames.
See the discussion of -s | --no-promiscuous above, if you wish to try starting
as a non-root user.
Shortly after starting up,
becomes the user you specify here, which normally has substantially reduced privileges,
such as no login shell. This is the userid which owns
database and output files.
The value specified may be either a username or a numeric user id.
The group id used will be the primary group of the user specified.
If this parameter is not specified, ntop will try to switch first to 'nobody' and then
to 'anonymous' before giving up.
NOTE: This should not be root unless you really understand the security risks. In order
to prevent this by accident, the only way to run
as root is to explicitly specify -u root.
.B Don't do it.
creates a new hash/list entry for each new host/TCP session seen. In case of DOS (Denial Of Service) an attacker can easily exhaust all the host available memory because ntop is creating entries for dummy hosts. In order to avoid this you can set an upper limit in order to limit the memory ntop can use.
.It2 -w --http-server
.It2 -W --https-server
offers an embedded web server to present the information that has been so painstakingly
An external HTTP server is NOT required NOR supported. The
web server is embedded into the application.
These parameters specify the port (and optionally the address (i.e. interface))
For example, if started with -w 3000 (the default port), the URL to access
is http://hostname:3000/. If started with a full specification, e.g. -w 192.168.1.1:3000,
listens on only that address/port combination.
If -w is set to 0 the web server will not listen for http:// connections.
-W operates similarly, but controls the port for the https:// connections.
.B ntop -w 3000 -W 0
(this is the default setting) HTTP requests on port 3000 and no HTTPS.
.B ntop -w 80 -W 443
Both HTTP and HTTPS have been enabled on their most common ports.
.B ntop -w 0 -W 443
HTTP disabled, HTTPS enabled on the common port.
Certain sensitive, configuration pages of the
web server are protected by a userid/password. By default, these are the
user/URL administration, filter, shutdown and reset stats are password protected
and are accessible initially only to user
with a password set during the first run of
Users can modify/add/delete users/URLs using ntop itself - see the Admin tab.
The passwords, userids and URLs to protect with passwords are stored in a database file.
Passwords are stored in an encrypted form in the database for further security. Best
practices call for securing that database so that only the
user can read it.
There is a discussion in docs/FAQ about further securing the
.It2 -z --disable-sessions
This parameter disables TCP session tracking.
Use it for better performance or when you don't really need/care to track sessions.
.It2 -A --set-admin-password
This parameter is used to start
, set the admin password and quit. It is quite useful for installers that need
to automatically set the password for the admin user.
-A and --set-admin-password (without a value) will prompt the user for the password.
You may also use this parameter to set a specific value using --set-admin-password=value.
.B The = is REQUIRED and no spaces are permitted!
If you attempt to run
as a daemon without setting a password, a FATAL ERROR message is generated and
.It2 -B --filter-expression
Filters allows the user to restrict the traffic seen by
on just about any imaginable item.
The filter expression is set at run time by this parameter, but it may be
changed during the
run on the Admin | Change Filter web page.
The basic format is
.B -B "filter"
, where the quotes are
The syntax of the filter expression uses the same BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter)
expressions used by other packages such as tcpdump
For instance, suppose you
are interested only in the traffic generated/received by the host jake.unipi.it.
can then be started with the following filter:
.B ntop -B "src host jake.unipi.it or dst host jake.unipi.it"
or in shorthand:
.B ntop -B "host jake.unipi.it or host jake.unipi.it"
See the 'expression' section of the
man page - usually available at http://www.tcpdump.org/tcpdump_man.html - for
further information and the best quick guide to BPF filters currently available.
WARNING: If you are using complex filter expressions, especially those with =s
or meaningful spaces in them, be sure and use the long option format,
--filter-expression="xxxx" and not -B "xxxx".
This instruments ntop to be used in two configurations: host and network mode. In host mode (default) ntop works as usual: the IP addresses received are those of real hosts. In host mode the IP addresses received are those of the C-class network to which the address belongs. Using ntop in network mode is extremely useful when installed in a traffic exchange (e.g. in the middle of the Internet) whereas the host mode should be used when ntop is installed on the edge of a network (e.g. inside a company). The network mode significantly reduces the amount of work ntop has to perform and it has to be used whenever ntop is used to find out how the network traffic flows and not to pin-point specific hosts.
.It2 -D --domain
This identifies the local domain suffix, e.g. ntop.org. It may be necessary, if
is having difficulty determining it from the interface.
.It2 -F --flow-spec
It is used to specify network flows similar to more powerful applications such as NeTraMet.
A flow is a stream of captured packets that match a specified rule. The format is
.B "<flow-label>='<matching expression>'[,<flow-label>='<matching expression>']"
, where the label is used to symbolically identify the flow specified by the expression.
The expression is a bpf (Berkeley Packet Filter) expression. If an expression is specified, then
the information concerning flows can be accessed following the HTML link named 'List NetFlows'.
For instance define two flows with the following expression
.B "LucaHosts='host jake.unipi.it or host pisanino.unipi.it',GatewayRoutedPkts='gateway gateway.unipi.it'".
All the traffic sent/received by hosts jake.unipi.it or pisanino.unipi.it is collected by
and added to the LucaHosts flow, whereas all the packet routed by the gateway gateway.unipi.it
are added to the GatewayRoutedPkts flow. If the flows list is very long you may store in a
file (for instance flows.list) and specify the file name instead of the actual flows list
(in the above example, this would be 'ntop -F flows.list').
Note that the double quotations around the entire flow expression are required.
.It2 -K --enable-debug
Use this parameter to simplify application debug. It does three things:
1. Does not fork() on the "read only" html pages.
2. Displays mutex values on the configuration (info.html) page.
3. (If available - glibc/gcc) Activates an automated backtrace on application errors.
.It2 -L --use-syslog=facility
Use this parameter to send log messages to the system log instead of stdout.
-L and the simple form --use-syslog use the default log facility, defined as
LOG_DAEMON in the #define symbol DEFAULT_SYSLOG_FACILITY in globals-defines.h.
The complex form, --use-syslog=facility will set the log facility to whatever
value (e.g. local3, security) you specify.
.B The = is REQUIRED and no spaces are allowed!
This setting applies both to
and to any child fork()ed for reporting. If this parameter is not specified, any
fork()ed child will use the default value and will log it's messages to the
system log (this occurs because the fork()ed child must give up it's access
to the parents stdout).
Because various systems do not make the permissible names available, we have
a table at the end of globals-core.c. Look for myFacilityNames.
.It2 -M --no-interface-merge
merges the data collected from all of the interfaces (NICs) it is monitoring into a
single set of counters.
If you have a simple network, say a small LAN with a connection to the Internet,
merging data is good as it gives you a better picture of the whole network.
For larger, more complex networks, this may not be desirable.
You may also have other reasons for wishing to monitor each interface separately,
for example DMZ vs. LAN traffic.
This option instructs
not to merge network interfaces together. This means that
will collect statistics for each interface and report them separately.
Only ONE interface may be reported on at a time - use the
.B Admin | Switch NIC
option on the web server to select which interface to report upon.
Note that activating either the netFlow and/or sFlow plugins will force the
setting of -M. Once enabled, you cannot go back.
.It2 -N --wwn-map
This options names the file providing the map of WWN to FCID/VSAN ids.
.It2 -O --output-packet-path
This parameter defines the base path for the ntop-suspicious-pkts.XXX.pcap and
normal packet dump files.
If this parameter is not specified, the default value is the config.h parameter
CFG_DBFILE_DIR, which is set during ./configure from the --localstatedir= parameter.
If --localstatedir is not specified, it defaults to the --prefix value plus /var
Be aware that this may not be what you expect when running
as a daemon or Windows service. Setting an explicit and absolute path value is
recommended if you use this facility.
.It2 -P --db-file-path
.It2 -Q --spool-file-path
These parameters specify where
stores database files.
There are two types, 'temporary' - that is ones which need not be retained
run, and 'permanent', which must be retained (or recreated).
The 'permanent' databases are the preferences, "prefsCache.db" and the password
file, "ntop_pw.db". These are stored in the -P | --db-file-path specified location.
Certain plugins use the -P | --db-file-path specified location for their database
("LsWatch.db") or (as a default value) for files (.../rrd/...).
The 'temporary' databases are the address queue, "addressQueue.db", the cached DNS
resolutions, "dnsCache.db" and the MAC prefix (vendor table), "macPrefix.db".
If only -P | --db-file-path is specified, it is used for both types of databases.
The directories named must allow read/write and
file creation by the
user. For security, nobody else should have even read access to these files.
Note that the default value is the config.h parameter CFG_DBFILE_DIR.
This is set during ./configure from the --localstatedir= parameter.
If --localstatedir is not specified, it defaults to the --prefix value plus /var
This may not be what you expect when running
as a daemon or Windows service.
Note that on versions of
prior to 2.3, these parameters defaulted to "." (the current working directory, e.g.
the value returned by the pwd command) and caused havoc as it was different when
was run from the command line, vs. run via cron, vs. run from an initialization
Setting an explicit and absolute path value is
.It2 -U --mapper
Specifies the URL of the mapper.pl utility.
creates a clickable hyperlink on the 'Info about host xxxxxx' page to this URL by appending
Any type of host lookup could be performed, but this is intended to lookup the geographical
location of the host.
A cgi-based mapper interface to http://www.multimap.com is part of the
distribution [see www/Perl/mapper.pl]).
.It2 -V --version
version information and then exits.
.It2 -W --https-server
(See the joint documentation with the -w parameter, above)
sets completed sessions as 'timed out' and then purge them almost instantly, which is
not the behavior you might expect from the discussions about purge timeouts. This switch
makes ntop respect the timeouts for completed sessions. It is NOT the default because
a busy web server may have 100s or 1000s of completed sessions and this would significantly
increase the amount of memory
stores extra information about the locks and unlocks of the protective mutexes it uses. Since
uses fine-grained locking, this information is updated frequently. On some OSes, the system
calls used to collect this information (getpid() and gettimeofday()) are expensive. This option
disables the extra information. It should have no processing impact on
- however should
actually deadlock, we would lose the information that sometimes tells us why.
uses sched_yield() calls for better interactive performance. Under some situations, primarily
under RedHat Linux 8.0, this can deadlock, causing the
web server to stop responding, although
appears to still be operational according to the ps command. Use this switch to disable
these calls, IF you are seeing deadlocks.
to the old (v2.1) behavior on a memory error.
The default of stopcap enabled makes the web interface available albeit with static
Display only Fibre Channel statistics.
You can run multiple instances of
simultaneously by specifying different -P values (typically through
separate ntop.conf files). If you set a value for this parameter (available only on the command
line), you (1) display the 'instance' name on every web page and (2) alter the log prefix from "NTOP"
to your chosen value.
If you want to make the tag more obvious, create a .instance class in style.css, e.g.:
Note (UNIX): To run completely different versions of the
binary, you need to compile and install into a different library (using ./configure --prefix)
and then specify the LD_LIBRARY_PATH before invoking, e.g.
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/devel/lib/ntop/:... /devel/bin/ntop ...args...
If present, a file of the form <instance>_ntop_logo.gif will be used instead of the normal
ntop_logo.gif. This is tested for ONLY once, at the beginning of the
run. The EXACT word(s) of the --instance flag are used, without testing if they make a
proper file name. If - for any reason - the file is not found, an informational message
is logged and the normal logo file is used. To construct your own logo, make it a 300x40
NOTE: On the web pages,
uses the dladdr() function. The original Solaris routine had a bug, replicated in
FreeBSD (and possibly other places) where it uses the ARGV value - which might be
erroneous - instead of the actual file name. If the 'running from' value looks bogus but
the 'libraries in' value looks OK, go with the library.
Disable processing & Display of Fibre Channel
Don't display Invalid LUN information.
P3P is a W3C recommendation - http://www.w3.org/TR/P3P/ - for specifying
personal information a site collects and what it does with the information.
These parameters allow
to return P3P information. We do not supply samples.
On some platforms, the
web server will hang or appear to hang (it actually just responds incredibly
slowly to the first request from a browser session), while the rest of
runs just fine. This is known to be an issue under FreeBSD 4.x.
This option sets the non-blocking
option (assuming it's available in the version of libpcap that is installed).
While this works around the problem (by turning an interrupt driven process into
a poll), it also MAY significantly increase the CPU usage of
Although it does not actually interfere with other work, seeing
use 80-90% or more of the cpu is not uncommon - don't say we didn't warn you.
.B THIS OPTION IS OFFICIALLY UNSUPPORTED
and used at your own risk. Read the docs/FAQ write-up.
accesses a remote file to periodically check if the most current version is running.
This option disables that check. Please review the privacy notice at the bottom of
this page for more information.
By default, the recheck period is slightly more than 15 days. This can be adjusted
via a constant in globals-defines.h. If the result of the initial check indicates that
version is a 'new development' version (that is newer than the latest published
development version), the recheck is disabled. This is because which fixes and
enhancements were present/absent from the code.
NOTE: At present, the recheck does not work under Windows.
Enable a watchdog for
webserver hangs. These usually happen when connecting with older browsers. The user
gets nothing back and other users can't connect. Internally, packet processing continues
but there is no way to access the data through the web server or shutdown ntop cleanly.
With the watchdog, a timeout occurs after 3 seconds, and processing continues with a
log message. Unfortunately, the user sees nothing - it just looks like a failed
connection. (also available as a ./configure option, --enable-sslwatchdog)
generates displayable but not great html. There are a number of tags we do not
generate because they cause problems with older browsers which are still commonly
used or are important to look good on real-world browsers.
This flag tells
to generate 'BETTER' (but not perfect) w3c compliant html 4.01 output. This in no
way addresses all of the compatibility and markup issues. Over time, we would like
more compatible, but it will never be 100%. If you find any issues, please report
them to ntop-dev.
.It2 -4 --ipv4
Use IPv4 connections.
.It2 -6 --ipv6
Use IPv6 connections
.SH "WEB VIEWS"
is running, multiple users can access the traffic information using their web browsers.
does not generate 'fancy' or 'complex' html, although it does use frames, shallowly nested
Beginning with release 3.1, the menus are cascading dropdowns via JSCookMenu. With release
3.2, this extends to plugins.
We do not expect problems with any current web browser, but our ability to test with less
common ones is very limited. Testing has included Firefox and Internet Explorer, with
very limited testing on other current common browsers such as Opera.
In documentation and this man page, when we refer to a page such as Admin | Switch NIC, we
mean the Broad category "Admin" and the detailed item "Switch NIC" on that Admin menu.
requires a number of external tools and libraries to operate.
Certain other tools are optional, but add to the program's capabilities.
Specifies the maximum number of web server requests for the tcp/ip stack to retain in
it's queue awaiting delivery to the
web server. Requests in excess of this queue may be dropped (allowing for retransmission) or
rejected at the tcp/ip stack level, depending upon the OS.
Whatever happens, happens at the OS level, without any information being delivered to
Required libraries include:
from http://www.tcpdump.org/, version 0.7.2 or newer. 0.8.3 or newer is strongly
The Windows version makes use of
(libpcap for Windows) which may be downloaded from
WARNING: The 2.x releases of
will NOT support SMP machines.
requires a POSIX threads library. As of
3.2, the single-threaded version of
is no longer available.
2.x library, for the creation of png files, available at
1.2.x library, for the creation of png files, available at
should support both gd 1.X and libpng 1.0.x libraries but this has not been tested.
Note that there are incompatibilities if you compile with one version of these libraries
and then run with the other. Please read the discussion in docs/FAQ before reporting ANY
problems of this nature.
(if an https:// server is desired)
from the OpenSSL project available at http://www.openssl.org.
library is required by the rrd plugin. rrdtool creates 'Round-Robin databases' which are
used to store and graph historical data in a format that permits long duration retention
without growing larger over time.
The rrdtool home page is http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~oetiker/webtools/rrdtool/
includes a limited version of rrdtool 1.0.49 in the myrrd/ directory. Users of
3.2 should not need to specifically install rrdtool.
Plugin is courtesy of and supported by InMon Corporation, http://www.inmon.com/sflowTools.htm.
There are other optional libraries. See the output of ./configure for a fuller listing.
Tool locations are current as of August 2005 - please send email to
report new locations or dead links.
.SH "SEE ALSO"
.BR top (1),
.BR tcpdump (8).
.BR pcap (3).
.SH PRIVACY NOTICE
By default at startup and at periodic intervals, the
program will retrieve a file containing current ntop program version information.
Retrieving this file allows this
instance to confirm that it is running the most current version.
The retrieval is done using standard http:// requests, which will create log
records on the hosting system. These log records do contain information which
identifies a specific
site. Accordingly, you are being notified that this individually identifiable
information is being transmitted and recorded.
You may request - via the
run-time option - that this check be eliminated. If you use this option, no
individually identifiable information is transmitted or recorded, because the
entire retrieval and check is skipped.
We ask you to allow this retrieval and check, because it benefits both you and the
developers. It benefits you because you will be automatically notified
program version is obsolete, becomes unsupported or is no longer current.
It benefits the developers of
because it allows us to determine the number of active
instances, and the operating system/versions that users are running
under. This allows us to focus development resources on systems like those our
users are using
The individually identifiable information is contained in the web server log
records which are automatically created each time the version file is retrieved.
This is a function of the web server and not of
, but we do take advantage of it.
The log record shows the IP address of the requestor (the
instance) and a User-Agent header field. We place information in the User-Agent
header as follows:
host/<name from config.guess>
release/<of the distro, also if one>
kernrlse/<kernel version or release>
config() <condensed parameters from ./configure>
run() <condensed flags - no data - from the execution line>
access/<http, https, both or none>
interfaces() <given interface names>
ntop/2.2.98 host/i686-pc-linux-gnu distro/redhat release/9 kernrlse/2.4.20-8smp
GCC/3.2.2 config(i18n) run(i; u; P; w; t; logextra; m; instantsessionpurge;
schedyield; d; usesyslog=; t) gdbm/1.8.0 openssl/0.9.7a zlib/1.1.4
Distro and release information is determined at compile time and consists of
information typically found in the /etc/release (or similar) file. See the
tool linuxrelease for how this is determined.
gcc compiler version (if available) is the internal version #s for the gcc
compiler, e.g. 3.2.3.
kernrlse is the Linux Kernel version or the xBSD 'release' such as 4.9-RELEASE
and is determined from the uname data (if it's available).
The ./configure parameters are stripped of directory paths, leading -s, etc. to
create a short form that shows us what ./configure parameters people are using.
Similarly, the run time parameters are stripped of data and paths, just showing
which flags are being used.
The libpcap, gdbm, openssl and zlib versions come from the strings returned by the various
inquiry functions (if they're available).
Here's a sample log record:
67.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [28/Dec/2003:12:11:46 -0500] "GET /version.xml HTTP/1.0"
200 1568 www.burtonstrauss.com "-" "ntop/2.2.98 host/i686-pc-linux-gnu
distro/redhat release/9 kernrlse/2.4.20-8smp GCC/3.2.2 config(i18n)
run(i; u; P; w; t; logextra; m; instantsessionpurge; schedyield; d;
usesyslog=) libpcap/0.8 gdbm/1.8.0 openssl/0.9.7a zlib/1.1.4 access/http
.SH USER SUPPORT
Please send bug reports to the ntop-dev <email@example.com> mailing list. The
ntop <firstname.lastname@example.org> mailing list is used for discussing ntop usage issues. In
order to post messages on the lists a (free) subscription is required
to limit/avoid spam. Please do NOT contact the author directly unless this is
a personal question.
Commercial support is available upon request. Please see the ntop site for further info.
Please send code patches to <email@example.com>.
ntop's author is Luca Deri (http://luca.ntop.org/) who can be reached at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
ntop is distributed under the GNU GPL licence (http://www.gnu.org/).
The author acknowledges the Centro Serra of the University of Pisa, Italy (http://www-serra.unipi.it/) for
hosting the ntop sites (both web and mailing lists), and Burton Strauss
<email@example.com> for his help and user assistance. Many thanks to Stefano
Suin <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Rocco Carbone <email@example.com> for contributing to