Ubuntu install vnstat console network traffic monitor Print

  • vnstat, traffic, ubuntu
  • 68

Step 1 – Ubuntu install vnstat using the apt/apt-get

Type the following apt command/apt-get command to update the system:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade


Execute the following command to set up and install vnstat on Ubuntu server:
sudo apt-get install vnstat
sudo apt install vnstat

Step 2 – Configure vnstat

The default database directory for each interface located at the following location (use the ls command/cd command):
cd /var/lib/vnstat/
ls -l /var/lib/vnstat/

Sample outputs:


Use the ip command to find out your interface name:

ip l show
ip a show

1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
2: eno1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc fq_codel state UP mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 40:9f:38:28:f6:b5 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

Note down the interface name eno1. We need edit the /etc/vnstat.conf file using a text editor such as nano or vim:

sudo nano /etc/vnstat.conf

Set default interface name to eno1(or eth0 on older Ubuntu systems):
Interface "eno1"

We can customize date output formats as follows:

DayFormat    "%Y-%m-%d"
MonthFormat  "%Y-%m"
TopFormat    "%Y-%m-%d"

Set data retention duration policy (use -1 for unlimited and 0 to disable it)

5MinuteHours   48
HourlyDays      4
DailyDays      62
MonthlyMonths  25
YearlyYears    -1
TopDayEntries  20

Save and close the file.

Step 3 – Enable and start the vnstat service

We are going to use the systemctl command to control the systemd system such as vnstat.service on Ubuntu Linux. The syntax to enable service is as follows:
sudo systemctl enable vnstat.service

Start the vnstat service

sudo systemctl start vnstat.service

Stop the vnstat service

sudo systemctl stop vnstat.service

Restart/reload the vnstat service

After editing the /etc/vnstat.conf, we must restart or reload the service:
sudo systemctl restart vnstat.service
sudo systemctl reload vnstat.service

Find the status of vnstat service

sudo systemctl status vnstat.service

Step 4 – Viewing network traffic graphs

We have two parts here as follows:

  1. vnstatd daemon – Background service that monitors and updates interface database as per /etc/vnstat.conf file.
  2. vnstat command – Command line tool for sysadmins/developers for querying the traffic information stored by the vnstatd daemon. In other words, we need to use the vnstat command.

Let us type the following command on Ubuntu box to query vnstat database:


Was this answer helpful?

« Back