I was wondering if there are any good applications to monitor how much data I use on my laptop in a month. My net connection has a restriction of how much data I can use after which the speed goes down considerably. I saw ntop, but I just wanted to ask if there are any other good options or suggestions regarding this. Regards.

  • 1
    Have you checked vnstat
    – Achu
    Feb 12, 2012 at 17:30
  • You can use Data Monitor App for Linux
    – BigSack
    Aug 9, 2012 at 9:36

7 Answers 7


I was in a similar situation, but with slow speeds after a certain amount of data usage is reached (now I have a 16 GB 12 Mbit plan ☺) and I used vnstat (package vnstat). It's a command-line app that displays the bandwidth usage for today and previous days. as soon as it is installed, it will start monitoring the usage.

Usage: run vnstat to view the statistics, vnstat -d for viewing daily usage. Add -i wlan0 to the previous command if you are using a wireless network. See the manual page for it by running man vnstat for more information.

  • I used the same in the past, you can get a gui for it now apparently - never used that though - sqweek.com/sqweek/index.php?p=1 Oct 5, 2013 at 14:03
  • Thank you .How can I configure that ?
    – Raja G
    Oct 5, 2013 at 14:23
  • @rajagenupula well, there is nothing to configure! as soon as it is installed, it will start monitoring the usage. Run vnstat to view the statistics, vnstat -d -i <interface> for viewing daily usage. See the manual page by running man vnstat for more information. Oct 5, 2013 at 15:07

vnStat - Light Weight Console-based Network Monitor

vnStat is a console-based network traffic monitor for Linux and BSD that keeps a log of network traffic for the selected interface(s). It uses the network interface statistics provided by the kernel as information source. This means that vnStat won't actually be sniffing any traffic and also ensures light use of system resources.

In this tutorial we'll review:

  • Features
  • Installation
  • Configuration
  • Start Systemd Service
  • Usage (from command line)
  • Conky Real Time Display example


  • quick and simple to install and get running
  • gathered statistics persists through system reboots
  • can monitor multiple interfaces at the same time
  • several output options
  • summary, hourly, daily, monthly, weekly, top 10 days
  • optional png image output (using libgd)
  • months can be configured to follow billing period
  • light, minimal resource usage
  • same low cpu usage regardless of traffic
  • can be used without root permissions
  • online color configuration editor


nvStat is in the official repositories so no need to link to a new ppa. To install create a Terminal instance using Ctrl+Alt+T and type at the prompt:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vnstat

After installation, keep your Terminal open for the following sections. There is no need to reboot.


Pick a preferred network interface and edit the Interface variable in the /etc/vnstat.conf accordingly. To the list all interfaces available to vnstat, use:

$ vnstat --iflist
Available interfaces: wlp60s0 lo enp59s0 (1000 Mbit)

To start monitoring a particular interface you must initialize a database first. Each interface needs its own database. The command to initialize one for the eth0 interface is:

sudo vnstat -u -i enp59s0 

Start Systemd Service

After introducing the interface(s) and checking the config file. You can start the monitoring process via systemd:

sudo systemctl start vnstat.service

To make this service permanent use:

sudo systemctl enable vnstat.service

From now on vnstat will be gathering network usage in the background using such a small percentage of CPU it doesn't show up on conky's (system monitor's) top 9 list of processes (on my machine).

Usage (from Command Line)

Query the network traffic:

vnstat -q

Viewing live network traffic usage:

vnstat -l

To find more options, use:

vnstat --help

Monthly Totals

To see monthly totals, use:

$ vnstat -m

 enp59s0  /  monthly

       month        rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
      Oct '17      2.02 GiB |    1.57 GiB |    3.59 GiB |   11.25 kbit/s
      Nov '17     58.28 GiB |   24.58 GiB |   82.86 GiB |  268.17 kbit/s
      Dec '17    143.23 GiB |   13.64 GiB |  156.87 GiB |  491.31 kbit/s
      Jan '18    102.77 GiB |   30.21 GiB |  132.97 GiB |    1.04 Mbit/s
    estimated    257.06 GiB |   75.56 GiB |  332.62 GiB |

Conky Real Time Display example

Conky is a popular light-weight System Monitor used across many Linux distributions. You can show vnStat bandwidth totals in your conky display like this:

Conky Network Realtime 5.gif

30 second .gif of Conky's relevant section

The Conky code to produce this display is:

${color orange}${voffset 2}${hr 1}
${color}Memory:${goto 148}${color green}$mem / $memmax $alignr${color green}${memperc /}%
${color}Linux:${goto 148}${color green}${fs_used /} / ${fs_size /} $alignr${color green}${fs_used_perc /}%
${color}NVMe Win 10:${goto 148}${if_mounted /mnt/c}${color green} ${fs_used /mnt/c} / ${fs_size /mnt/c} $alignr${color green}${fs_used_perc /mnt/c}%${else}${color yellow}/mnt/c${endif}
${color}${if_mounted /mnt/d}HGST_Win10:${goto 148}${color green} ${fs_used /mnt/d} / ${fs_size /mnt/d} $alignr${color green}${fs_used_perc /mnt/d}%${else}Cache RAM:${goto 148}${color green}${cached} ${color} Buffers: ${color green} ${buffers}${endif}
${color}${if_mounted /mnt/e}WSL+Linux:${goto 148}${color green}${fs_used /mnt/e} / ${fs_size /mnt/e} $alignr${color green}${fs_used_perc /mnt/e}%${else}Swap:${goto 148}${color green}${swap} / ${swapmax} $alignr${color green}${swapperc}%${endif}
${color orange}${voffset 2}${hr 1}
${color1}Network using vnStat "-i", "-w" and "-m"
${color}${goto 5}Today ${goto 100}Yesterday ${goto 225}Week ${goto 325}Month ${color green}
${execi 10 vnstat -i enp59s0 | grep "today" | awk '{print $8" "substr ($9, 1, 1)}'} ${goto 110}${execi 10 vnstat -i enp59s0 | grep "yesterday" | awk '{print $8" "substr ($9, 1, 1)}'} ${goto 220}${execi 10 vnstat -i enp59s0 -w | grep "current week" | awk '{print $9" "substr ($10, 1, 1)}'} ${goto 315}${execi 10 vnstat -i enp59s0 -m | grep "`date +"%b '%y"`" | awk '{print $9" "substr ($10, 1, 1)}'}
${color}Down: ${color green}${downspeed enp59s0}/s ${color}${goto 220}Up: ${color green}${upspeed enp59s0}/s
${downspeedgraph enp59s0 25,190 000000 ff0000} ${alignr}${upspeedgraph enp59s0 25,190 000000 00ff00}$color
Total: ${color green}${totaldown enp59s0} $color${alignr}Total: ${color green}${totalup enp59s0}
${color orange}${voffset 2}${hr 1}
${color}${goto 5}Dawn: ${color green}${execpi 300 cat /usr/local/bin/sunrise} ${goto 155}${color}Dusk: ${color green}${execpi 300 cat /usr/local/bin/sunset} ${alignr}${color}Level: ${color green}${execpi 10 cat /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness}
${color orange}${voffset 2}${hr 1}

To save desktop space, my narrow Conky window uses "G" instead of "GiB", "M" instead of "MiB", etc. If you have more screen real estate change substr ($10, 1, 1) to $10 and do the same for $9.

You may have to change enp59s0 to eth0, wlan0 or eth1, etc. depending on your network name reported by ifconfig.


You can check NTM - Network Traffic Monitor


There is Datafox, an addon for Firefox.

This should monitor at least your bandwidth usage on the web, I don't know if it can monitor usage with other applications however.

  • 2
    Datafox has rather limited scope. From the add-on page: "Check your BSNL DataOne and MTNL Triband bandwidth utilization in Firefox at the click of a button." It doesn't seem to work for other ISPs. As you point out, monitoring bandwidth usage by other apps is also required.
    – user25656
    Feb 13, 2012 at 14:56

I needed protocol granularity to see what was using data on my network, so I opted for ntop. It has a web interface, and worked out the box for me.


Sysstat is a professional command-line monitoring utility. Install it using following command:

apt-get install sysstat

Use sa1 to store system status for N seconds (It stores system statues in some binary files located at /var/log/sa):

sa1 1 N

At any time use sadf to view network usage in some standard formats:

sadf -d /var/log/sa/sa18 -s HH:MM:SS -e HH:MM:SS -- -n DEV

-s and -e specifies start time and end time. sa18 means day 18 of current month.


check the software at these site.You can track your data usage by using these applications. software recommendation

software recommendation

  • I have used NTM that was pretty easy to setup and nice.
    – Raja G
    Oct 5, 2013 at 14:20
  • ok enjoy and get away from extra bill Oct 5, 2013 at 14:23

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