How to Check Internet Speed in Linux


Internet speed, the amount of time it takes to download or upload a specific amount of data, is primarily a consequence of the type of transmission technology used. Broadband technology negotiates the highest speeds and dial-up technology negotiates the lowest. Internet service providers usually offer a variety of packages based on each of the different types of transmission technology available; prices directly relate to the technology's corresponding rate of speed. Once you've purchased a package, it's a good idea to regularly test your Internet speed to ensure that your Internet service provider is indeed delivering the service you purchased.

  • Access the terminal interface on your Linux system. This is found in the "Applications" tab of your menu bar under the "Accessories" option, or it can be accessed by typing "terminal" into the search bar of your dash. The terminal functions according to a command line interface (CLI) system and requires that you type commands in order to tell the computer what to do. This is a quicker and more efficient method of checking speed, but it means that you must know the command.

  • Type the following command into the terminal "ethtool eth0 mii-tool eth0" to check your Internet speed. In order for the command to work, it may be necessary to install the "ethtool" application. If this is the case, the terminal will advise.

  • Install the "ethtool" application if directed to do so. The easiest way to do this is by searching for the application in the Ubuntu Software Center, which appears under the "Applications" tab of your menu bar. Once found, click "Install". Restart your computer after the installation is complete.

  • Return to the terminal and type the appropriate command line to check Internet speed.

  • Check your Internet speed on a third party site if you feel ill-prepared to use the Linux terminal system; is a reliable option. Access the web site and click on the button that reads "Begin Test" to check both your download speed and upload speed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember that the Linux Terminal is case sensitive. Pay careful attention to capitalization or the lack thereof when typing commands.

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