Can I view the source code of netstat on my Linux machine?

3 Answers 3


Yes you can. Download it.

But as you don't say what flavor of linux re you using here is couple of examples:

Debian/Ubuntu related:

# What package is the netstat executable in?
apt-file search /usr/bin/netstat
# Now download the source of that package
apt-get source net-tools

CentOS/Red Hat:

yumdownloader --source net-tools
  • I thought that in Linux are some standard places where I can view source code of various commands without need of downloading.
    – xralf
    Sep 27, 2011 at 9:23
  • apt-get ends with this message Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done E: Unable to find a source package for netstat
    – xralf
    Sep 27, 2011 at 9:24
  • 1
    Then you'll need to enable the src repos. Go to /etc/apt/sources.list and uncomment the deb-src lines.
    – hmontoliu
    Sep 27, 2011 at 9:28
  • apt-get with net-tools seems to download it, but where is it saved?
    – xralf
    Sep 27, 2011 at 9:30
  • 4
    @xralf: you need to explicitly download the source code because most of the distros and users consider it as a waste of space since they trust the build process from the distro.
    – hmontoliu
    Sep 27, 2011 at 9:30

netstat is part of the net-tools suite. The project home page is here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/net-tools/

You can browse the netstat source here: http://sourceforge.net/p/net-tools/code/ci/master/tree/ or view the netstat.c file.


Probably you need this: http://www.tazenda.demon.co.uk/phil/net-tools/. If you need more precise answer - use your local package manager to get info about package containing netstat utility.

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