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I can see the data transferred (internet Download/Upload) in the current session from the System Monitor. But I want something that keeps track of all the data transferred and I can see how much data was used in a month or two. Preferably a GUI tool.

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possible duplicate of How can you monitor internet download usage? – Lekensteyn Feb 14 '12 at 17:58
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you like a nice GUI try NTM - Network Traffic Monitor. It's not in the repos but you can easily download a deb package from their website:

Should work for all *buntu variants.


  • Choice of the interface to monitoring.
  • Period to monitoring: Day, Week, Month, Year or Custom Days. With autoupdate.
  • Threshold: Autodisconnection if a limit is reached (by NetworkManager).
  • Traffic Monitoring: Inbound, outbount and total traffic; Show the traffic speed.
  • Time Monitoring: Total time of connections in the period.
  • Time Slot Monitoring: Number of sessions used.
  • Reports: Show of average values and daily traffic of a configurable period.
  • Online checking with NetworkManager or by "Ping Mode".
  • The traffic is attributed to the day when the session began.
  • Not need root privilege.
  • Not invasive, use a system try icon.
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Install vnstat

sudo apt-get install vnstat

Now you want to configure your interface

sudo vnstat -u -i <interface>

i.e sudo vnstat -u -i eth0

Now to see the usage type vnstat in terminal



karthick@Ubuntu-desktop:~/Desktop$ vnstat
Database updated: Thu Dec  2 13:06:21 2010

   eth0 since 11/29/10

          rx:  624.84 MiB      tx:  285.97 MiB      total:  910.80 MiB

                     rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
       Nov '10    412.00 MiB |  239.16 MiB |  651.16 MiB |    2.06 kbit/s
       Dec '10    212.83 MiB |   46.81 MiB |  259.64 MiB |   15.92 kbit/s
     estimated      4.15 GiB |     922 MiB |    5.05 GiB |

                     rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
     yesterday    150.05 MiB |   30.82 MiB |  180.87 MiB |   17.15 kbit/s
         today     62.78 MiB |   15.99 MiB |   78.77 MiB |   13.68 kbit/s
     estimated       113 MiB |      27 MiB |     140 MiB |

To see the monthly status alone type vnstat -m to see the daily status type vnstat -d

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I mostly use 3G data card which connects to USB, what about that? Does it have a Graphical frontend? thanks for the quick reply :) – Gaurav Butola Dec 2 '10 at 7:53
For 3g usb modem sudo vnstat -u -i ppp0 – karthick87 Dec 2 '10 at 8:02
Yes there is a frontend but i have never used.You can try – karthick87 Dec 2 '10 at 9:40
I think this should be considered the real accepted answer. And this is also a solution for those of us on AWS EC2 instances that need individual instance usage information for client billing purposes. – jschrab Sep 24 '15 at 14:34

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