vnStat - a console-based network traffic monitor


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


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 analyzed from the proc(5) and sys filesystems depending on availability. That way vnStat can be used even without root permissions on most systems.


Remove all top10 entries.

--config file
Use file as config file instead of using normal config file search function.

-d, --days
Show traffic for 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 the database for the selected interface and stop monitoring it.

Instead of showing the database with a formated output, this output will dump the whole database in a format that should be easy to parse with most script languages. Use this for example with PHP, Perl or Python to make a custom webpage. The dump uses ; as field delimeter.

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


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 = top10 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.

--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.

-h, --hours
Show traffic for the last 24 hours.

-i, --iface interface
Select one specific interface and apply actions to only it.

Show list of currently available interfaces.

-l, --live mode
Display current transfer rate for the selected interface in real time until interrupted. 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.

--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.

Show complete options list.

-m, --months
Show traffic for 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.

Show traffic summary for selected interface using one line with a parseable format. The output contains 15 fields with ; used as field delimeter. The 1st field contains 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) interface 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.

-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.

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.

Write the end result of a database merge to the file mergeddb
that can then be used as a new database if renamed. Top10 traffic days isn't included in the merge and will start empty in the new database.

-s, --short
Use short output mode. This mode is also used if more than one database is available.

--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 characters 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 reseted. Such can occur when suspend to ram/disk is used.

Test if the kernel boot time information always stays the same like it should or if it's shifting.

-t, --top10
Show all time top10 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 included.

-u, --update
Update all enabled databases or only the one specified with -i

-v, --version
Show current version.

-w, --weeks
Show traffic for 7 days, current and previous week.

--xml Show database content for selected interface or all interfaces in xml format. All traffic values in the output are in KiB.

-?, --help
Show a command summary.


This directory contains all databases the program uses. Files are named according to the monitored interfaces.

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.

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 -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.

vnstat -u -i eth0 --nick local
Give interface eth0 the nickname "local". That information will be later later visible 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 generate enough traffic to wrap 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 still a working option.

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.


Teemu Toivola <tst at iki dot fi>


vnstatd(1), vnstati(1), vnstat.conf(5), proc(5), ifconfig(8), units(7)