The computer world has a tendency of reinventing the wheel once in a while. I am not a fan of that process, but sometimes I just have to bite the bullet and adapt to change. This post explains how I adapted to one particular change: the netstat to sockstat transition.

I used to do this to show which processes where listening on which port on a server:

netstat -anpe

It was a handy mnemonic as, in France, ANPE was the agency responsible for the unemployed (basically). That would list all sockets (-a), not resolve hostnames (-n, because it's slow), show processes attached to the socket (-p) with extra info like the user (-e). This still works, but sometimes fail to find the actual process hooked to the port. Plus, it lists a whole bunch of UNIX sockets and non-listening sockets, which are generally irrelevant for such an audit.

What I really wanted to use was really something like:

netstat -pleunt | sort

... which has the "pleut" mnemonic ("rains", but plural, which makes no sense and would be badly spelled anyway). That also only lists listening (-l) and network sockets, specifically UDP (-u) and TCP (-t).

But enough with the legacy, let's try the brave new world of sockstat which has the unfortunate acronym ss.

The equivalent sockstat command to the above is:

ss -pleuntO

It's similar to the above, except we need the -O flag otherwise ss does that confusing thing where it splits the output on multiple lines. But I actually use:

ss -plunt0

... i.e. without the -e as the information it gives (cgroup, fd number, etc) is not much more useful than what's already provided with -p (service and UID).

All of the above also show sockets that are not actually a concern because they only listen on localhost. Those one should be filtered out. So now we embark into that wild filtering ride.

This is going to list all open sockets and show the port number and service:

ss -pluntO --no-header | sed 's/^\([a-z]*\) *[A-Z]* *[0-9]* [0-9]* *[0-9]* */\1/' | sed 's/^[^:]*:\(:\]:\)\?//;s/\([0-9]*\) *[^ ]*/\1\t/;s/,fd=[0-9]*//' | sort -gu

For example on my desktop, it looks like:

anarcat@angela:~$ sudo ss -pluntO --no-header | sed 's/^\([a-z]*\) *[A-Z]* *[0-9]* [0-9]* *[0-9]* */\1/' | sed 's/^[^:]*:\(:\]:\)\?//;s/\([0-9]*\) *[^ ]*/\1\t/;s/,fd=[0-9]*//' | sort -gu
          [::]:* users:(("unbound",pid=1864))        
22  users:(("sshd",pid=1830))           
25  users:(("master",pid=3150))        
53  users:(("unbound",pid=1864))        
323 users:(("chronyd",pid=1876))        
500 users:(("charon",pid=2817))        
631 users:(("cups-browsed",pid=2744))   
2628    users:(("dictd",pid=2825))          
4001    users:(("emacs",pid=3578))          
4500    users:(("charon",pid=2817))        
5353    users:(("avahi-daemon",pid=1423))  
6600    users:(("systemd",pid=3461))       
8384    users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
9050    users:(("tor",pid=2857))            
21027   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
22000   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
33231   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
34953   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
35770   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
44944   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
47337   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
48903   users:(("mosh-client",pid=234126))  
52774   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
52938   users:(("avahi-daemon",pid=1423))  
54029   users:(("avahi-daemon",pid=1423))  

But that doesn't filter out the localhost stuff, lots of false positive (like emacs, above). And this is where it gets... not fun, as you need to match "localhost" but we don't resolve names, so you need to do some fancy pattern matching:

ss -pluntO --no-header | \
    sed 's/^\([a-z]*\) *[A-Z]* *[0-9]* [0-9]* *[0-9]* */\1/;s/^tcp//;s/^udp//' | \
    grep -v -e '^\[fe80::' -e '^' -e '^\[::1\]' -e '^192\.' -e '^172\.' | \
    sed 's/^[^:]*:\(:\]:\)\?//;s/\([0-9]*\) *[^ ]*/\1\t/;s/,fd=[0-9]*//' |\
    sort -gu

This is kind of horrible, but it works, those are the actually open ports on my machine:

anarcat@angela:~$ sudo ss -pluntO --no-header |         sed 's/^\([a-
z]*\) *[A-Z]* *[0-9]* [0-9]* *[0-9]* */\1/;s/^tcp//;s/^udp//' |      
   grep -v -e '^\[fe80::' -e '^' -e '^\[::1\]' -e '^192\.' -
e '^172\.' |         sed 's/^[^:]*:\(:\]:\)\?//;s/\([0-9]*\) *[^ ]*/\
1\t/;s/,fd=[0-9]*//' |        sort -gu
22  users:(("sshd",pid=1830))           
500 users:(("charon",pid=2817))        
631 users:(("cups-browsed",pid=2744))   
4500    users:(("charon",pid=2817))        
5353    users:(("avahi-daemon",pid=1423))  
6600    users:(("systemd",pid=3461))       
21027   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
22000   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
34953   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
35770   users:(("syncthing",pid=232169))   
48903   users:(("mosh-client",pid=234126))  
52938   users:(("avahi-daemon",pid=1423))  
54029   users:(("avahi-daemon",pid=1423))

Surely there must be a better way. It turns out that lsof can do some of this, and it's relatively straightforward. This lists all listening TCP sockets:

lsof -iTCP -sTCP:LISTEN +c 15 | grep -v localhost | sort

A shorter version from Adam Shand is:

lsof -i @localhost

... which basically replaces the grep -v localhost line.

In theory, this would do the equivalent on UDP

lsof -iUDP -sUDP:^Idle

... but in reality, it looks like lsof on Linux can't figure out the state of a UDP socket:

lsof: no UDP state names available: UDP:^Idle

... which, honestly, I'm baffled by. It's strange because ss can figure out the state of those sockets, heck it's how -l vs -a works after all. So we need something else to show listening UDP sockets.

The following actually looks pretty good after all:

ss -pluO

That will list localhost sockets of course, so we can explicitly ask ss to resolve those and filter them out with something like:

ss -plurO | grep -v localhost

oh, and look here! ss supports pattern matching, so we can actually tell it to ignore localhost directly, which removes that horrible sed line we used earlier:

ss -pluntO '! ( src = localhost )'

That actually gives a pretty readable output. One annoyance is we can't really modify the columns here, so we still need some god-awful sed hacking on top of that to get a cleaner output:

ss -nplutO '! ( src = localhost )'  | \
    sed 's/\(udp\|tcp\).*:\([0-9][0-9]*\)/\2\t\1\t/;s/\([0-9][0-9]*\t[udtcp]*\t\)[^u]*users:(("/\1/;s/".*//;s/.*Address:Port.*/Netid\tPort\tProcess/' | \
    sort -nu

That looks horrible and is basically impossible to memorize. But it sure looks nice:

anarcat@angela:~$ sudo ss -nplutO '! ( src = localhost )'  | sed 's/\(udp\|tcp\).*:\([0-9][0-9]*\)/\2\t\1\t/;s/\([0-9][0-9]*\t[udtcp]*\t\)[^u]*users:(("/\1/;s/".*//;s/.*Address:Port.*/Port\tNetid\tProcess/' | sort -nu

Port    Netid   Process
22  tcp sshd
500 udp charon
546 udp NetworkManager
631 udp cups-browsed
4500    udp charon
5353    udp avahi-daemon
6600    tcp systemd
21027   udp syncthing
22000   udp syncthing
34953   udp syncthing
35770   udp syncthing
48903   udp mosh-client
52938   udp avahi-daemon
54029   udp avahi-daemon

Better ideas welcome.

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