Software to download
That's a mighty nice collection of networking utilities, but there are more that belong in your network admin toolkit. The following packages are all in the Ubuntu software repositories, so you can use your usual favorite installation method: Synaptic, apt-get, the Ubuntu Software Center, etc. This list is a comprehensive sampling, and there are dozens more. You'll find the complete list at packages.ubuntu.com. Load these up on your Natty Netbook and you'll be ready for just about anything.
Network discovery, monitoring, and exploration
Use these to test connectivity, discover who is on your network, find unauthorized servers, find redundant servers, and read what is going over your wires. Nothing needs to be a mystery, and you can see exactly what is happening on your network.
2pingis a bidirectional ping utility for determining the direction of packet loss.
chaosreaderis a multi-protocol network session tracer.
conntrackdreplicates the status of the connections that are currently being processed by a stateful firewall.
cryptcatis a featureful netcat-like utility that encrypts its transmissions. It's excellent for debugging and network exploration<./li>
daemonloggeris a great packet logger and tap daemon for network security analysis.
darkstatis a packet sniffer that outputs statistics to a Web browser.
dhcp-probediscovers unauthorized DHCP and BootP servers.
dmitryis a network probe finds subdomains, uptime info, email addresses, port scans, and lots more.
ettercapis a powerhouse protocol sniffer and analyzer.
fpingcan ping multiple targets.
iptrafis a colorful LAN traffic monitor.
ifstatis a network interface monitor.
iftopmonitors bandwidth usage.
kismetis an 802.11b wireless network sniffer. It's a must-have for wireless networks.
kism3dis a 3D network display server which can be used as a 3D desktop environment.
knockeris a TCP port scanner.
wiresharkis a sophisticated packet sniffer and analyzer.
cdpris a Cisco discovery protocol reporter.
imsniffis an instant messaging sniffer and logger.
ike-scandiscovers IKE (IPsec VPN Servers) hosts.
farpdis a fake ARP daemon that can claim unassigned LAN addresses.
ipwatchdcan find IP address conflicts.
icmpinfois a nice tool for decoding ICMP messages.
nmapwill act as a network mapper, security auditor, perform host fingerprinting, and do lots more.
iwconfigures and displays wireless interface information.
Performance testing and monitoring
Your users probably pester you frequently with complaints that "the network is slow!" With these tools, you can see for yourself how well the packets are flowing, test server responses, find the bottlenecks, and verify that your SSL-encrypted Web traffic really is encrypted.
bandwidthd, bandwidthd-pgsql for graphing subnet traffic.
bingprovides bandwidth measurement based on pings.
bmonis a bandwidth monitor that outputs results in HTML and ASCII.
echopingtests remote server performance.
ethstatsmeasures network interface throughput.
flowscanprovides network traffic analysis and visualization.
httpingmeasures HTTP/S server performance.
DNS is still half-voodoo, and one typo in a zone file makes a disproportionately big mess. Use these tools to see abnormal traffic (which could indicate a misconfiguration or even an attack), test performance, and test server configuration.
bind9utilscontains tools for checking a BIND server.
dlintis a DNS zone analyzer.
dns-flood-detectordetects abnormally high nameserver traffic.
dnstopcaptures and analyzes DNS traffic.
dnstracertraces DNS queries to their source.
fpdnscan tell you the versions of remote DNS servers.
Cisco, Juniper, Intel, ATM, and Infiniband tools
Linux and FOSS even offer nice tools for managing and monitoring spendy high-end snooty vendor gear.
atm-toolshelps you set up, monitor, and tune ATM networks.
br2684ctlbridges ATM over Ethernet
c3270provides a telnet connection to IBM mainframe.
dynagenis a Cisco 7200 router emulator.
dynamipsis a Cisco 7200/3600/3725/3745/2600/1700 router emulator.
gamtis a serial-over-LAN client for Intel AMT.
ibsim-utilssimulates InfiniBand fabric.
ibutilsdiagnoses and test InfiniBand networks.
gns3is a graphical network simulator that configures Cisco and Junos devices.
vpncis a Cisco-compatible VPN client.
Remote desktops and file sharing
These are mostly cross-platform so you can share files and printers on mixed networks, set up remote help desks, accommodate roaming users, and run secure remote graphical desktops -- all without getting dinged for silly terminal server and other gratuitous licenses.
vncare all remote desktop connection clients.
winbindare server and client files for Samba file shares, including diagnostic commands.
nfs-kernel-serverprovide network file shares server and client tools.
openssh-serveris a secure shell server. Install this on all hosts that required secure remote connectivity
Again, there are some useful programs for odd jobs that don't fit into the other categories.
etherpuppetcreates a virtual mirrored TCP interface (TUN/TAP).
6tunnelis an IPv6 proxy for IPv4 applications.
aircrack-nghelps with 802.11a/b/g WEP/WPA cracking.
bridge-utilshelps set up Ethernet bridges.
cuttercloses TCP connections.
ebtablessets up, maintains, and inspects tables of Ethernet frames.
geoip-databasefind the country of origin of any IP address or hostname.
grepcidrfilters IPv4 CIDR addresses.
hping3is a network smashing tool.
icmpushis an ICMP packet builder for controlled testing.
ipv6calccalculate and convert network addresses and subnets.
wakeonlansends magic packets to wake up WOL-enabled hosts.
Go forth and administer your network!
Be sure to read the fine man pages! You'll also find boatloads of practical guidance in my own Linux Networking Cookbook. Editors willing and the creek don't rise, we'll follow up with some juicy howtos on using your nifty Natty Netadmin Netbook for specific network diagnostic and fixit tasks.
Carla Schroder is a regular ITworld contributor. Follow Carla on ITworld.
This article, "Natty Narwhal netbook: The ultimate network administrator toolkit," was originally published at ITworld. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.