Monitor Your Network Bandwidth Usage in Cinnamon Using ‘NUM’ (applet)

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.

Step 1:

First, download the compressed package from this page.

Step 2:

Now open it (by double clicking of course) and extract its content to your ‘Home’ folder.

Step 3:

Then, open your Terminal window and copy the below command.

mv [email protected] ~/.local/share/cinnamon/applets


Optional …

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.


Step 4:

Now right click on your Taskbar (somewhere around the ‘windows list’ area) and from the context menu choose, ‘Add applets to the panel’.


Step 5:

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!.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

4 thoughts on “Monitor Your Network Bandwidth Usage in Cinnamon Using ‘NUM’ (applet)”

  1. I badly need a bandwidth meter I am using linux mint 17 cinnamon and like the num applet but can not get it to work,when I try to open it it keeps telling me that it is not a debian package is there a debian package avalible REGARDS GLENN

  2. Thank you for your reply to my query, I tried what you suggested however in terminal and it just says no such file or directory

    • Hi Glenn,

      You shouldn’t use the exact command laid out in Step 3 as this is a different file. So, first download the Zip file and extract it to your Home folder and then enter the below command:

      mv netusagemonitor\@pdcurtis/ .local/share/cinnamon/applets/

      Now enter the below two commands to install prerequisites:

      sudo apt-get install gir1.2-gtop-2.0

      sudo apt-get install gir1.2-gtop-2.0 vnstat vnstati zenity sox libsox-fmt-mp3

      Now enable your applet by accessing ‘Cinnamon Settings’ -> ‘Applets’.


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