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Nov 25, 2015

Monitor Network traffic & Live up/down speed in linux terminal with vnstat

Nov 25, 2015

vnstat is a command line based network traffic monitor. It keeps track of network traffic for different network interfaces. It always runs in the background to do so. It can also show current/live Internet  download/upload speed.

Install vnstat

Open up your terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and enter
(for Ubuntu/Debian/Linux Mint)
sudo apt-get install vnstat


Configure vnstat

open the configuration file and make changes to it as you wish.

Tip: you might wanna change the default interface from eth0 to wlan0, in case you primarly use a wifi connection.
sudo nano /etc/vnstat.conf


Basic Usage

Simply entering vnstat without any arguments will show traffic statistics for default or multiple interfaces (like eth0 and wlan0) for last two months and last two days.

NOTE: vnstat collects data from the day/time it was installed. Since you have just install vnstat, it will show "eth0: Not enough data available yet." wait for some time then try again. 

Note: rx is for download and tx is for upload (see below)
 aman@vostro:~$ vnstat

                      rx      /      tx      /     total    /   estimated
 eth0: Not enough data available yet.
 wlan0:
       Oct '15    589.29 MiB  /   90.44 MiB  /  679.73 MiB
       Nov '15    998.20 MiB  /  107.32 MiB  /    1.08 GiB  /    1.34 GiB
     yesterday    502.15 MiB  /   44.49 MiB  /  546.63 MiB
         today    376.35 MiB  /   45.12 MiB  /  421.47 MiB  /    3.87 GiB


However, if you want to monitor only specific interface (like wlan0 in this case) , give -i argument followed by the interface name.

aman@vostro:~$ vnstat -i wlan0
Database updated: Wed Nov 25 02:53:24 2015

   wlan0 since 10/23/2015

          rx:  1.56 GiB      tx:  199.25 MiB      total:  1.75 GiB

   monthly
                     rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
     ------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------------
       Oct '15    589.29 MiB |   90.44 MiB |  679.73 MiB |    2.08 kbit/s
       Nov '15      0.98 GiB |  108.81 MiB |    1.09 GiB |    4.38 kbit/s
     ------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------------
     estimated      1.22 GiB |     134 MiB |    1.35 GiB |

   daily
                     rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
     ------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------------
     yesterday    502.15 MiB |   44.49 MiB |  546.63 MiB |   51.83 kbit/s
         today    382.86 MiB |   46.60 MiB |  429.46 MiB |  338.15 kbit/s
     ------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------------
     estimated      3.10 GiB |     382 MiB |    3.48 GiB |

Get Live Network Speed!

Use the -l option to display the live download/upload speed

NOTE: Since I use a wifi connection, I have set wlan0 as my default interface by making change to the config file (like shown above) so I am getting stats for wlan0 instead of eht0.

aman@vostro:~$ vnstat -l 
Monitoring wlan0...    (press CTRL-C to stop)

   rx:     2.36 Mbit/s   230 p/s          tx:      141 kbit/s   228 p/s
When you stop it by pressing CTRL-C it gives you detailed traffic summary for that live session.
 wlan0  /  traffic statistics

                           rx         |       tx
--------------------------------------+------------------
  bytes                    11.85 MiB  |         926 KiB
--------------------------------------+------------------
          max            4.35 Mbit/s  |      278 kbit/s
      average            1.31 Mbit/s  |   100.07 kbit/s
          min               0 kbit/s  |        0 kbit/s
--------------------------------------+------------------
  packets                      10183  |           10195
--------------------------------------+------------------
          max                431 p/s  |         431 p/s
      average                137 p/s  |         137 p/s
          min                  0 p/s  |           0 p/s
--------------------------------------+------------------
  time                  1.23 minutes

Monitor Data breakdown by Hour, Day, Week or Month.

use options like -h , -d, -m
aman@vostro:~$ vnstat -h
 wlan0                                                                    03:08 
  ^                                                                 r           
  |                                                                 r           
  |                                                                 r           
  |                                                                 r  r        
  |                                                                 r  r        
  |                                                                 r  r        
  |                                                              r  r  r        
  |                                                              r  r  r        
  |                                                              r  r  r        
  |                                                              r  rt r        
 -+---------------------------------------------------------------------------> 
  |  04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 00 01 02 03    
                                                                                
 h  rx (KiB)   tx (KiB)      h  rx (KiB)   tx (KiB)      h  rx (KiB)   tx (KiB) 
04          0          0    12          0          0    20          0          0
05          0          0    13          0          0    21          0          0
06          0          0    14          0          0    22          0          0
07          0          0    15          0          0    23     17,601      2,341
08          0          0    16          0          0    00     78,096     15,928
09          0          0    17          0          0    01    187,110     18,874
10          0          0    18          0          0    02    133,648     14,055
11          0          0    19          0          0    03      1,950        520
aman@vostro:~$ vnstat -d 

 wlan0  /  daily

         day         rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
     ------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------------
     10/23/2015    18.14 MiB |    5.41 MiB |   23.55 MiB |    2.23 kbit/s
     10/24/2015   387.71 MiB |   48.29 MiB |  436.00 MiB |   41.34 kbit/s
     10/25/2015   183.44 MiB |   36.73 MiB |  220.18 MiB |   20.88 kbit/s
     11/23/2015   119.71 MiB |   17.72 MiB |  137.43 MiB |   13.03 kbit/s
     11/24/2015   502.15 MiB |   44.49 MiB |  546.63 MiB |   51.83 kbit/s
     11/25/2015   391.41 MiB |   48.22 MiB |  439.63 MiB |  318.60 kbit/s
     ------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------------
     estimated      2.92 GiB |     367 MiB |    3.28 GiB |
aman@vostro:~$ vnstat -w 

 wlan0  /  weekly

                      rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
   ---------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------------
    last 7 days      0.99 GiB |  110.66 MiB |    1.10 GiB |   17.38 kbit/s
   current week      0.99 GiB |  110.66 MiB |    1.10 GiB |   49.95 kbit/s
   ---------------------------+-------------+-------------+---------------
      estimated      3.26 GiB |     362 MiB |    3.61 GiB |


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