How do I check the internet speed on my computer, a dell Inspiron 1545, while using ubuntu 14.04?
Observing the current upload and download rate is fairly easy in Ubuntu. The easiest option is to use the System Monitor, but you can do it through the console as well.
Ubuntu comes with an application called System Monitor, which acts like the Windows Task Manager. To open it, search for "System Monitor" in your dash and start up the proper application. Select the Resources tab and you should see CPU History, Memory and Swap History, and Network History. What you want is the network history, which should show your current upload/download rates, as well as a graph of them over time.
Alternatively, you may want to test your speeds. To do this, you could use SpeedTest.net or
wget. The latter is a Terminal command. To use it, enter
wget in the console and provide it with a download URL as an argument (i.e.
wget http://download.org/download.tar.gz). You should choose a fairly large file you know to have good speeds. Once you've done that, you can observe your download speed from the console. Feel free to delete the downloaded file afterwards. If you ran the command immediately after starting Terminal, it will be in your home directory.
speedtest-cli is Command line interface for testing internet bandwidth using speedtest.net. It uses python. You can download and run it like so:
wget https://raw.github.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest_cli.py chmod a+rx speedtest_cli.py sudo mv speedtest_cli.py /usr/local/bin/ sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/speedtest_cli.py
The best option is indicator-netspeed-unity. This indicator applet is made into PPA, available for Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04, and Elementary OS. You can install it either from PPA or by downloading and installing .deb manually:
Install the applet by adding the developer’s PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fixnix/netspeed sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install indicator-netspeed-unity
After installation, it starts automatically at next login. Or you can start it immediately from app launcher.