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I am using GNU/Linux (Debian 6, x86_64), X11, but no heavyweight desktop environment (I used xmonad).

I would like to monitor the activity of a specific network interface. I would like to know how many packets were sent and recevied, TCP/UDP and Ports. Is there a lightweight tool that does such monitoring?

TL;DR: I need a wireshark-alike which displays basic packet information for a specific NIC.

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Have a look at Conky. It can show you things like transfer speed and number of connections and allows you to execute shell scripts to get information to display.

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