Last updated on November 28, 2020 by Dan Nanni
When you are experiencing slow Internet access, you may want to test the Internet speed of your upstream ISP (often called last mile in the residential broadband networks) as part of troubleshooting. For that matter, Speedtest.net is probably the most widely used broadband speed testing website.
However, if you are trying to check Internet speed from a remote headless server, VPS or an otherwise desktop-less system, Speedtest.net's Flash-based user-friendly interface would be no good. For those of you, there is a command-line interface (CLI) version of Speedtest.net, known as speedtest-cli. Here I will demonstrate how to use
speedtest-cli to check Internet speed from the command line in Linux.
speedtest-cli is a simple CLI client written in Python for measuring bidirectional Internet bandwidth by using Speedtest.net infrastructure. It works with Python 2.4-3.4. Installing the latest
speedtest-cli is nothing more than downloading the Python script.
$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest.py $ chmod a+rx speedtest_cli.py $ sudo mv speedtest_cli.py /usr/local/bin/speedtest-cli $ sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/speedtest-cli
It is straightforward to check your Internet speed with
speedtest-cli command without any argument gets its job done.
This will automatically discover the closest Speedtest.net server (in terms of geographic distance), and report download and upload speed measured from the server.
If you want to share the speed test result, you can use
--share option, which will allow you to share speed test result with others in an image format via Speedtest.net.
The following is a sample image automatically generated and uploaded to Speedtest.net by
If you want to get a list of available Speedtest.net servers around the world, use
--list option. It will display a sorted list of Speedtest.net servers (geographically closest ones first).
In the server list shown above, each Speedtest.net server shows an associated server ID in front. You can manually specify server ID during testing, instead of using the geographically closest server. For example, if I want to use a sever in Washington DC, I specify a corresponding server ID (e.g.,
$ speedtest-cli --server 935
NOTE: Don't run any aggressive cron job!
speedtest-cli is an unofficial third-party tool which is meant for residential users who want to check their broadband speed. You are not supposed to run any aggressive script with it. If you want to run automated bandwidth monitoring with
speedtest-cli, you should set up your own Speedtest.net server, and run any automated test against it, instead of bombarding the Speedtest.net's infrastructure which is shared with many others!
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