How To Install vnStat on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Install vnStat on Ubuntu 20.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install vnStat on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, vnStat is an open-source tool that can be used to monitor the network resources of your system by using the console. With vnStat, you can monitor network statistics over various time periods. It is simple, lightweight, and consumes a small portion of your system resources. vnStat allow you to generate the network traffic data in an hour, day, month, week, and day.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the vnStat network traffic monitor on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install vnStat on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt commands in the terminal.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing vnStat on Ubuntu 20.04.

VnStat is available in the repository of Ubuntu, use the apt command to install it:

sudo apt install vnstat

You can verify the installation was successful and find out the version using the command:

vnstat -v

Step 3. How To Use vnStat on Ubuntu.

To view data for all time and for all network interfaces, run vnstat without parameters:


To view statistics every 5 minutes:

vnstat -5

For every hour:

vnstat -h

And this is how the bandwidth usage diagram will be built:

vnstat -hg

Statistics for days, months, or years, respectively:

vnstat -d
vnstat -m
vnstat -y

Here’s how you can see the top 10 days by overall channel usage:

vnstat -t

View summary statistics for 5 seconds in real-time:

vnstat -tr

And so the utility will show what is happening at the current moment:

vnstat -l

If you have several network interfaces, you can select one of them by specifying its name as a parameter in the command:

vnstat -i interface-name

To disable monitoring of a specific interface and remove all statistics for it, use:

sudo vnstat --remove -i interface-name --force

To add it back after that:

sudo vnstat --add -i interface-name

To apply the settings after adding, you need to restart vnstat:

sudo systemctl restart vnstat

The most useful command for operating with vnStat is the help command. You can see all the other options by typing this command below:

vnstat --help

Congratulations! You have successfully installed vnStat. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the vnStat network traffic monitor on your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official vnStat website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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