Easy Ubuntu data usage monitor

If you’re lucky enough to have a broadband card that works under Linux, your plan probably includes an “allowance” or data usage quota per month. You might be thinking how nice it would be to have a utility that tracks your data usage for the month (or other period) and gives you an easy-to-read report. You might also want said monitoring utility to have pre-built packages for Ubuntu / Debian.

NTM (Network Traffic Monitor) is what you want. As of this post the latest version is NTM 1.2.4.

Start by going to the NTM download site and downloading ntm-1.2.4.deb. Then double-click on it to install it using Ubuntu Software Center.

Once installed, you will find NTM at Applications > Internet.

Upon starting, it minimizes to the tray (next to the clock). You can open the interface by left-clicking the icon, and open the menu to access preferences by right-clicking the icon.

By default NTM monitors ppp0, which is the most likely interface that your broadband card will use. If you want to monitor a different interface, change that under the General tab. If you’re not sure what interface to use, run the following command:

ifconfig -a

This lists all interfaces and will help you locate your desired connection by IP / MAC and other info.

Also by default, NTM is configured with some other settings, such as auto-disconnecting after a data threshold has been reached (98MB by default), and disconnecting after a certain number of usage hours (30). These are likely too low for most mobile broadband users. Be sure to change these settings, under the Traffic, Time Slot, and Time tabs, to prevent unexpected disconnections.

Questions, comments, or other feedback? Please comment below. Thanks!


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