If I want to find out network traffic on my Linux Servers using SNMP. I use the ifOutOctets. and ifInOctets. OIDs in an snmpget request. Where do these OIDs get the data from?

I tried looking at the rfc for these OIDs but I'm still none the wiser. https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc3635#section-3.2.5


1 Answer 1


It depends. For ifOutOctets and ifInOctets, snmpd probably gets them by querying the kernel (either directly via a syscall or perhaps by examining /proc/net/dev).

For other OIDs, it may get them by running an external command to extract and process the data before returning it. e.g. see Extending snmpd using shell scripts for examples.

  • On Ubuntu at least, ifOutOctets and ifInOctets references the data from /proc/net/dev file. This can be verified using strace -p <pid Of SNMP> -e trace=open
    – lloowen
    Jul 28, 2017 at 20:07

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