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High Upload Rate Watching Dota 2 Replays
14 12 Aug
There is a Dota 2 tournament going on right now, which means I am watching a few of the games live or recorded from within the game client. I love the live rendered graphics! Anyway, I was watching my system monitor (because the game uses a lot of RAM over time), and I noticed that the steam process uploads about 1 MB/s (megabyte) while I have a recorded Dota 2 game open. It could even be paused, and the upload rate stays that high. What in the world am I uploading?!

I am looking at the Upload column within the Processes section of the Plasma System Monitor.

Can anyone else confirm?

EDIT: I realize now that the Upload Rate within the Network graph in my History section does not match up with that steam process. Not even close. Overall system upload rate hits like 25 KB/s peak. Confirmed with bashtop that the smaller upload rate is the real one. I gotta find out what that Upload column is showing. The range feels like disk I/O. I wonder if it's a bug. I reset the view back to "factory" and the numbers in that column still don't make sense.

EDIT 2: According to this source code search, I'm lead to believe that only the Overview and History pages are the ones actually displaying network upload. I'll stop editing every play by play....

Last edited by 14 on 12 August 2022 at 2:13 am UTC
It's quite usual to see some minor upload being used when running a stream, this is simply the two systems communicating the current file progress to keep in sync and such. It shouldn't be a huge amount of upload though. (Unless there's some heavy handed DRM involved, but who knows what that's doing).

As for getting your actual upload figures, you can't go wrong with atop, I use it all the time since it gives a nice simple breakdown and is available on pretty much any distro:

https://i.imgur.com/81qx3mA.png

After 10 seconds of showing current stats, it'll show current activity (it updates every ten seconds).
Xpander 12 Aug
nethogs can show the network activity per process or application. It's sometimes handy to see whats going on.
atop can also do that, but it'll need the netatop kernel module which typically isn't installed by default (and in some cases not even included with a distro by default).

More info about that here for the curious:
https://www.atoptool.nl/netatop.php
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