How to Monitor the UDP Buffer in Linux

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The User Datagram Protocol allows computers to exchange messages -- called "datagrams" in UDP parlance -- over networks, without any guarantee of delivery or of order preservation. It is well suited for applications that do not depend on establishing explicit connections. The Linux kernel keeps an in-memory UDP buffer; incoming datagrams stay in that buffer as long as they have been received by the network adapter, not yet read by any application, and not yet overwritten by later datagrams as buffer space runs out. You can monitor the current amount of data stored in the UDP buffer on your Linux computer.

  • Log in to your Linux computer.

  • Launch a command shell by logging in with text mode or by launching a "Terminal" application from the graphical desktop.

  • Type the following command into the shell:

    cat /proc/net/udp

    Press "Enter." The "rx_queue" entry in the output of the "cat" command will display the current number of bytes stored in the UDP buffer, as permanently monitored by the Linux kernel and made available via the special "/proc" filesystem.

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