Gingercat1.png Welcome to...
GingerCat Software
We make software for the Web the Macintosh and linux
(among other things!) We hope you enjoy our site

Blog | New Site
Ntop It Just rocks on!

I have been using this amazing piece of software called ntop for about 5 years now. It is one of the great open source products that every system admin person should know about.

Not only that, it is now (with the development of Linux tools like apt-get and yum) very very easy to configure install and get running. In fact this is something you can do in about 10 minutes or less!

ntop What is it?

Ntop is like Top for your network it will give you breakdowns on hosts, usage, protocols, applications and in short more information than you can shake a stick at!

Ntop can be used for various things including basic traffic audits, security related research, resource loading and lots lots more.

To get a good idea of what is coming into and out of your network it is best to put a machine running Ntop in a place that gets most of your traffic.

For example in my small home network I have a hub in between my router and my switch - as my internet connection is not over 10 Meg (unfortunately!) it has no detrimental effect on network performance. But using a hub easily allows me to echo all traffic coming in and out of my network to another port which is where my ntop box now lives. In a professional production environment your could for example mirror a switch or router port that is your main connection to the internet.

This is my simple layout

So this is my Quick guide to using Ntop

1.Chose a good network place for your ntop device

2.Use one of the more popular Linux platforms

I use Ubuntu server but it also works well on Fedora 9

with an Ubuntu install I issued these 3 commands.

sudo apt-get install ntop

sudo ntop --set-admin-password

sudo /etc/init.d/ntop start

Then fire up your browser and point it to

http://{ipaddress of your ntop install}:3000

and you should soon be able to enjoy something that looks like this...

and this

and this

The above is just a small very small taste of what you can expect. Ntop will develop literary hundreds of pages of detailed valuable information about your network in a matter of minutes. In closing a huge gratitude of thanks is owed to Mr Luca Deri of and all the team and all the other people who have contributed to making this one amazing open source product!



© 2006 Steve Abrahall