Large data traffic when working with remote files in Atom


I work with Atom (v. 1.51.0 x64) on Mac doing Python development. The files I’m updated are located remotely, and so I typically mount (with mount_smbfs) the remote drive to open and make changes. Each file is on the order of tens of KB. However, I find that when I make changes in Atom and when saving, I have hundreds of MB in download traffic. I didn’t see nearly the same data usage when trying the same with Xcode, and there was next to no usage when using TextEdit. I’m monitoring my traffic with Bandwidth+.

I found this Reddit thread about Atom automatically downloading updates every time it was opened, which was affecting me as well until I disabled the “automatic update” option. But otherwise, I can’t seem to find anyone else with the same issue. I’m no expert in Atom/networks, so I’m having trouble figuring out what could be causing the issue.

Any ideas? Is this something that can be managed with careful configuration of options? I’d like to continue using Atom, as I’ve grown very familiar with the setup, but this data traffic issue
Many thanks in advance for your help.

Best regards,

If you’re suspecting Atom to cause the traffic, you could keep an eye on the network tab of Atom’s developer tools to gather additional information.

Here’s an example of mine:

However, not all traffic cause by Atom is visible here. Some processes (e.g. apm) run outside of the window context, so they won’t show up here. But it might help you compare the data to what you see in Bandwidth+.

My guess is that this won’t reveal anything that causes substantial traffic.

Thanks for your reply!

I just gave this a try, but as you suspected, it did not reveal the cause of substantial traffic. The Atom network interface indicated that opening a file resulted in about 200 bytes of traffic (only one process was indicated - I think it was just registering some png icon). However, during the time I had the file open to try making some changes, Bandwidth+ recorded about 370MB of traffic. It seems like just having the remote file open results in about 7MB/s constant traffic (my estimation of watching the Bandwidth+ number climb).

Here are a couple more clues.

I tried disabling every package except what seemed to be the absolute essentials (python language, text language, settings, tabs, status bar). No luck - still seeing excessive usage.

I noticed that when the remote file is open and I’m on that tab, the data traffic is constant, even when I’m not making changes or saves. When the file is open and I’m in Atom but situated off that tab, there’s no traffic. It would seem that just viewing the file is part of the issue.

Atom is installed locally, but I’m using it to open remote files on the mounted drive. Is that workflow “incorrect”?

Thanks again for any advice you might have for me! Much appreciated.

I should have experimented more before posting - actually seems like this may have fixed the issue, but only after restarting Atom. Originally, all defaults (plus a few extras) were enabled, but I’ve now gone through and disabled everything I don’t need.

This doesn’t tell me what the culprit package was, unfortunately, but I suspect it may have been one of the git-related packages. The code is tracked on the remote drive with git and I created a GitHub right around when my usage started spiking.

I’ll post back if anything changes. Thanks again @idleberg for the suggestion, and to others who may have dropped by.

This sounds like a likely source of your problem