I use that :
sudo watch lsof -i -4 -a -P
and it returns a list.
how to get the count?
I tried this but doesn't work.
sudo watch lsof -i -4 -a -P | wc -l
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I agree, this should probably be on ServerFault.
But, until then:
The issue with what you are doing is the watch command. Watch repeats a command so that you can see the output again and again over time.
My lsof doesn't accept a -4 argument, but if yours does, then
sudo lsof -i -4 -a -P | wc -l
Works for me.
netstat -a | wc -l for all type of open sockets and
netstat -l | wc -l for displaying server sockets.
To get the count, you need escape quotes to contain the entire command for the shells spawned by watch:
(Also, -4 didn't work here)
sudo watch "lsof -i -a -P | wc -l "