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I recently got my Linode VPS. And I have a rather low-traffic site being hosted on it. But when I look at the traffic, it has high outgoing traffic peaking at regular intervals and I am not sure what it is or how I can find out.

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How could I detect what is causing this? Or what is the best tool for this?

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What OS/version is it running? Please post the contents of lsb_release -a and uname -a. Also, the output of crontab -l and sudo crontab -l wouldn't hurt. –  Mike Oct 31 '11 at 5:39
    
ok.. Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS (lucid). I have a cron job running, which occurs every hour (it reads a RSS feed), but the above graph doesn't look like it's from the cronjob. Also, if I'm reading the RSS feed, it would be high on incoming traffic, rather than outgoing traffic right? –  ericbae Oct 31 '11 at 5:45

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A couple strategies that might work are outlined here:

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/linux-cool-hacks.html

The two ideas that I think are the best bets are:

  • Catch it in the act using top in batch mode
  • Turn on process accounting (pacct)

Since this seems to be happening at regular intervals, it shouldn't be too difficult to catch it at the right time.

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