Linux Mint’s ‘Cinnamon’ desktop lets you customize it, in almost every way one one could think of. From re-arranging the window controls to changing the fonts, tweaking the fancy effects … it is a treat :).
Cinnamon also supports extending its features through ‘Extensions’ and ‘Applets’ as well. Thought the OS comes with few Applets, there are many other available online that can come in handy.
For example, you might be in need of a network bandwidth monitor, if have an Internet connection with a monthly usage limit (like mine). In those situations, my personal favorite solution is ‘Vnstat‘, it is a command-line tool, but it gets the job done.
However, ‘Clem’ (the main developer of Linux Mint) has created a simple but an extremely useful Applet that that monitors your network connections and displays the bandwidth usage, graphically! (it uses the above mentioned ‘Vnstat‘ and ‘Vnstati’, another tool that outputs vnstat’s statistics into an image file, as back-ends).
Once clicked on its icon, it shows you the network traffic (both downloads and uploads) for ‘Today’, ‘Yesterday’ and ‘All time’.
Though it is not perfect, as I would very much like if it gives something like the daily traffic when I hover the mouse over its icon plus, if there is an option to ‘reset’ the statistics. But other than that, it is a very handy Applet.
How to install it?
Very simple. For that, please follow the below steps.
First, download the compressed package from this page.
Now open it (by double clicking of course) and extract its content to your ‘Home’ folder.
Then, open your Terminal window and copy the below command.
mv [email protected] ~/.local/share/cinnamon/applets
As mentioned above, you have to have installed ‘vnstat’ and ‘vnstati’ before you can start using it. So if you haven’t installed them already, then enter the below command to install them.
sudo apt-get install vnstat vnstati
Then reboot your computer.
Now right click on your Taskbar (somewhere around the ‘windows list’ area) and from the context menu choose, ‘Add applets to the panel’.
From the next window, search for ‘network usage’ in the search bar (or you can also scroll down and locate it). Once you have located it, simply select it and click to put a cross-mark to enable it.
As you soon you enable it, the applet should appear near the system tray area, as shown in the first screenshot. That’s it!.