VNSTAT(1) - Linux man page online | User commands

A console-based network traffic monitor.

MARCH 2018
VNSTAT(1) User Manuals VNSTAT(1)


vnstat - a console-based network traffic monitor


vnstat [ -Ddhlmqrstuvw? ] [ --cleartop ] [ --config file ] [ --create ] [ --days ] [ --delete ] [ --dbdir directory ] [ --debug ] [ --disable ] [ --enable ] [ --exportdb ] [ --help ] [ --hours ] [ --importdb file ] [ -i interface ] [ --iface interface ] [ --iflist ] [ --json mode ] [ --live mode ] [ --locale locale ] [ --longhelp ] [ --months ] [ --nick nickname ] [ --oneline mode ] [ --query ] [ --rateunit ] [ --rebuildtotal ] [ --reset ] [ -ru ] [ --savemerged ] [ --short ] [ --showconfig ] [ --style number ] [ --sync ] [ --testkernel ] [ --top10 ] [ -tr time ] [ --traffic time ] [ --update ] [ --version ] [ --weeks ] [ --xml mode ]


vnStat is a console-based network traffic monitor. It keeps a log of hourly, daily and monthly network traffic for the selected interface(s). However, it isn't a packet sniffer. The traffic information is read from the proc(5) or sys filesystems depending on avail‐ ability. That way vnStat can be used even without root permissions on most systems. The implementation is divided into two commands. The purpose of the vnstat command is to provide an interface for querying the traffic information stored in network interface spe‐ cific databases where as the daemon vnstatd(1) is responsible for data retrieval and stor‐ age. Although the daemon process is constantly running as a service, it is actually spend‐ ing most of the time sleeping between data updates.


--cleartop Remove all top 10 entries. --config file Use file as configuration file instead of using normal configuration file search functionality. --create Create database for interface specified with -i or --iface option. -d, --days Show traffic statistics on a daily basis for the last 30 days. --dbdir directory Use directory as database directory instead of using the directory specified in the configuration file or the hardcoded default if no configuration file is available. -D, --debug Show additional debug output. --delete Delete the database for the interface specified with -i or --iface and stop moni‐ toring it. --enable, --disable Enable or disable updates for selected interface. Useful for interfaces that aren't always available, like ppp0. If the interface goes down it should be disabled in order to avoid errors. Add something like vnstat -r --disable -i ppp0 to the script that's executed when the interface goes down and vnstat --enable -i ppp0 to the up script. These two options aren't needed when the daemon is used. --exportdb Instead of showing the database with a formatted output, this output will dump the whole database in a plain text based architecture independent format. The output can be imported back using the --importdb option and can be used for moving a data‐ base from one host to another. See the --importdb documentation below for an exam‐ ple. Using the output for scripting is possible but the outputs of --xml and --json are likely to be more suitable. The dump uses ; as field delimiter. active;1 activity status interface;eth0 name for the interface nick;inet nick (if given) created;1023895272 creation date in Unix time updated;1065467100 when the database was updated totalrx;569605 all time total received MiB totaltx;2023708 all time total transmitted MiB currx;621673719 latest rx value in /proc curtx;981730184 latest tx value in /proc totalrxk;644 total rx KiB counter totaltxk;494 total tx KiB counter btime;1059414541 system boot time in Unix time Then follows 30 lines like the following d;0;1078696800;559;7433;68;557;1 where d = days, 0 = day number in database (0 is today), 1077314401 date in Unix time, 559 = rx MiB, 7433 = tx MiB, 68 = rx KiB, 557 = tx KiB and 1 tells that vnStat has filled this value and it is in use. m;0;1078092000;48649;139704;527;252;1 (x12) t;0;1078351200;5979;47155;362;525;1 (x10) h;0;1078699800;118265;516545 (x24) m = months, t = top 10 and h = hours, all other fields are in the same order as in days except hours that doesn't have a separate KiB value. For hours the forth and fifth fields have values in KiB. -h, --hours Show traffic statistics on a hourly basis for the last 24 hours. --importdb file Import a database from file which was previously exported using the --exportdb option. This can be used to transfer a database between different architectures and hosts, as the database is architecture dependent and not compatible between differ‐ ent architectures. First dump the database on one host, e.g. with vnstat -i ppp0 --exportdb >ppp0db.txt and then import the text file on a different host using vnstat -i ppp0 --importdb ppp0db.txt -i, --iface interface Select one specific interface and apply actions to only it. For queries, it is pos‐ sible to merge the information of two or more interfaces using the inter‐ face1+interface2+... syntax. --iflist Show list of currently available interfaces. --json mode Show database content for selected interface or all interfaces in json format. All traffic values in the output are in KiB. An optional mode parameter can be used for limiting the output to only selected information. Everything is shown by default. Setting mode to 'h' will output only hours, 'd' days, 'm' months and 't' the top 10. This option can also be used in combination with -l, --live and -tr options without mode having any effect to the output. -l, --live mode Display current transfer rate for the selected interface in real time until inter‐ rupted. Statistics will be shown after interruption if the runtime was more than 10 seconds. An optional mode parameter can be used to select between the displaying of packets per second (mode 0) and transfer counters (mode 1) during execution. --style can also be used to affect the layout of the output. The output will be in json format if used in combination with --json option. --locale locale Use locale instead of using the locale setting specified in the configuration file or the system default if no configuration file is available. --longhelp Show complete options list. -m, --months Show traffic statistics on a monthly basis for the last 12 months. --nick nickname Set the selected interfaces nickname as an alias the will be displayed in queries. Usage of -u is required to save the change and the daemon may not be running during the set operation. --oneline Show traffic summary for selected interface using one line with a parseable format. The output contains 15 fields with ; used as field delimiter. The 1st field con‐ tains the version information of the output that will be changed in future versions of vnStat if the field structure changes. The following fields in order 2) inter‐ face name, 3) timestamp for today, 4) rx for today, 5) tx for today, 6) total for today, 7) average traffic rate for today, 8) timestamp for current month, 9) rx for current month, 10) tx for current month, 11) total for current month, 12) average traffic rate for today, 13) all time total rx, 14) all time total tx, 15) all time total traffic. An optional mode parameter can be used to force all fields to out‐ put in bytes without the unit itself shown. -q, --query Force database query mode. -r, --reset Reset the internal counters in the database for the selected interface. Use this if the interface goes down and back up, otherwise that interface will get some extra traffic to its database. Not needed when the daemon is used. --rebuildtotal Reset the total traffic counters and recount those using recorded months. -ru, --rateunit Swap the configured rate unit. If rate has been configured to be shown in bytes then rate will be shown in bits if this option is present. In the same way, if rate has been configured to be shown in bits then rate will be shown in bytes when this option is present. Alternatively 0 or 1 can be given as parameter for this option in order to select between bytes (0) and bits (1) regardless of the configuration file setting. --savemerged Write the end result of a database merge to the file mergeddb that can then be used as a new database if renamed. Top 10 traffic days isn't included in the merge and will start empty in the new database. The merge interface syntax is documented in -i, --iface option. -s, --short Use short output mode. This mode is also used if more than one database is avail‐ able. --style number Modify the content and style of outputs. Set number to 0 for a more narrow output, 1 for enabling bar column, 2 for same as previous but with average traffic rate visible in summary and weekly outputs and 3 for enabling average traffic rate in all outputs where it is supported. 4 disables the use of terminal control charac‐ ters in -l / --live mode. --sync Synchronize internal counters in the database with interface counters for the selected interface. Use this if the system is rebooted but interface counters aren't reset. Such can occur when suspend to ram/disk is used. Not needed when the daemon is used. --testkernel Test if the kernel boot time information always stays the same like it should or if it's shifting. -t, --top10 Show all time top 10 traffic days. -tr time Calculate how much traffic goes through the selected interface during the given time seconds. The time will be 5 seconds if a number parameter isn't specified. The output will be in json format if used in combination with --json option. However, in that case, the countdown before results isn't shown. -u, --update Update all enabled databases or only the one specified with -i parameter. Not sup‐ ported when the daemon is running. -v, --version Show current version. -w, --weeks Show traffic for 7 days, current and previous week. --xml mode Show database content for selected interface or all interfaces in xml format. All traffic values in the output are in KiB. An optional mode parameter can be used for limiting the output to only selected information. Everything is shown by default. Setting mode to 'h' will output only hours, 'd' days, 'm' months and 't' the top 10. -?, --help Show a command option summary.


/var/lib/vnstat/ This directory contains all databases the program uses. Files are named according to the monitored interfaces. A backup copy of each database is kept in a file starting with a . (dot character) and otherwise named according to the original file. /etc/vnstat.conf Config file that will be used unless $HOME/.vnstatrc exists. See vnstat.conf(5) for more information.


vnstat Display traffic summary for the default interface or multiple interfaces when more than one is monitored. vnstat -i eth0+eth1+eth3 Display traffic summary for a merge of interfaces eth0, eth1 and eth3. vnstat -i eth2 --xml Output all information about interface eth2 in xml format. vnstat --json Output all information of all monitored interfaces in json format. vnstat -u -i eth0 Force a database update for interface eth0 or create the database if it doesn't exist. This is usually the first command used after a fresh install if the daemon isn't used. vnstat -u -i eth0 --nick local Give interface eth0 the nickname "local". That information will be later later vis‐ ible as a label when eth0 is queried. The database will also be updated when this command is executed or created if the database doesn't exist. vnstat -i eth2 --delete Delete database of interface eth2 and stop monitoring it.


Updates needs to be executed at least as often as it is possible for the interface to gen‐ erate enough traffic to overflow the kernel interface traffic counter. Otherwise, it is possible that some traffic won't be seen. This isn't an issue for 64-bit kernels but at least one update every hour is always required in order to provide proper input. With 32-bit kernels, the maximum time between two updates depends on how fast the interface can transfer 4 GiB. Calculated theoretical times are: 10 Mbit: 54 minutes 100 Mbit: 5 minutes 1000 Mbit: 30 seconds However, for 1000 Mbit interfaces updating once every minute is usually a usable solution if faster updates can't be used. Estimated traffic values are likely to be somewhat inaccurate if daily traffic is low because only the MiB counter is used to calculate the estimate. Virtual and aliased interfaces cannot be monitored because the kernel doesn't provide traffic information for that type of interfaces. Such interfaces are usually named eth0:0, eth0:1, eth0:2 etc. where eth0 is the actual interface being aliased. Using long date output formats may cause misalignment in shown columns if the length of the date exceeds the fixed size allocation.


Teemu Toivola <tst at iki dot fi>


vnstatd(1), vnstati(1), vnstat.conf(5), proc(5), ifconfig(8), units(7)
version 1.18 MARCH 2018 VNSTAT(1)
This manual Reference Other manuals
vnstat(1) referred by vnstat.conf(5) | vnstatd(1) | vnstati(1)
refer to ifconfig(8) | proc(5) | units(7) | vnstat.conf(5) | vnstatd(1) | vnstati(1)
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