I can be described as a network engineer, sometimes, and sometimes a system admin. As such, keeping track of how customers internet is working is reasonably important.
Most customers use Speedtest.net as a way of testing their internet connection, so I figured I would clobber together a script that keeps a bit of history, and make some pretty graphs 😅.

So my steps are going to be:

  1. Install rrdtool, Gawk, and grep
  2. Install Ookla speedtest cli.
  3. Write a bash script to create, update, and graph, some results
  4. Profit!


I’m not going to talk you through setting up a Linux server.

I will assume that you have a running server.
Your linux server can be any flavour you like, I prefer Debian and Ubuntu distros, and I prefer aptitude as a package manager; you can use whatever you like 🤗.

I’m also not going to talk you through setting up a web server .. sort that out yourself 😜.

You NEED unlimited data on your internet!!!!

This script will thrash your internet usage!

Installing the packages, and setting up directories

Right, let’s start with installing rrdtool, Gawk, and grep
sudo aptitude install rrdtool gawk grep

That’s pretty easy !

Install Ookla Speedtest cli

So you can head over to the Ookla Speedtest cli website and download the appropriate package. In my case it’s the Linux x86_64 package, which is at version 1.0.0.
wget https://bintray.com/ookla/download/download_file?file_path=ookla-speedtest-1.0.0-x86_64-linux.tgz -O /tmp/speedtest.tgz

Now let’s unpack it:
tar xvfz /tmp/speedtest.tgz -C /tmp

And put it in a usable spot on the OS:
sudo mv /tmp/speedtest /usr/local/bin/speedtest

Running Speedtest cli

The first time you run speedtest you will be asked to agree to a license:


You may only use this Speedtest software and information generated
from it for personal, non-commercial use, through a command line
interface on a personal computer. Your use of this software is subject
to the End User License Agreement, Terms of Use and Privacy Policy at
these URLs:



Do you accept the license? [type YES to accept]:

Now you’re ready to go!

You can list out the nearest servers like so:

/usr/local/bin/speedtest -L
Closest servers:

    ID  Name                           Location             Country
  5469  MyRepublic Limited             Auckland             New Zealand
  5749  Vocusgroup NZ                  Auckland             New Zealand
 11327  Spark New Zealand              Auckland             New Zealand
  2720  WorldNet                       Auckland             New Zealand
  4953  Vodafone New Zealand           Auckland             New Zealand
   721  WorldxChange Comm              Auckland             New Zealand
 13676  speedtest.nzpbx.com            Auckland             New Zealand
 12932  Feenix Communications Limited  Auckland             New Zealand
 16805  Nova Energy                    AUCKLAND             New Zealand
 25477  Devoli                         Auckland             New Zealand

This particular customer I am testing from is connected through Vocus.
So I’m going to use Vocus to test against.

/usr/local/bin/speedtest -s 5749

   Speedtest by Ookla

     Server: Vocusgroup NZ - Auckland (id = 5749)
        ISP: Vocus Communications
    Latency:     5.10 ms   (0.37 ms jitter)
   Download:   844.16 Mbps (data used: 808.7 MB)
     Upload:   548.05 Mbps (data used: 267.4 MB)
Packet Loss:     0.0%
 Result URL: https://www.speedtest.net/result/c/1ff5533b-b0de-42c5-bd14-24c299cfc249

Sweet !

Create a directory

Ok, so now let’s create a directory to store history, and images.
sudo mkdir /var/www/html/rrd
sudo chown paul:paul /var/www/html/rrd

Note: I have changed the owner of the directory to the user ‘paul’. Change to whatever user you’re going to be running this script as.

The RRD Script

Ok, so here’s where the magic happens. So let’s skip straight to the script:

# generate a speedtest result
# 5749 server is Vocus
/usr/local/bin/speedtest -s 5749 -p no > /tmp/speedtest.txt 2>/dev/null


        case $1 in (create)
                /usr/bin/rrdtool create $TRAF/upload.rrd -s 60 \
                DS:upload:GAUGE:600:0:U \
                RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:1:4320 \
                RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:1440:3 \
                RRA:MIN:0.5:1440:3 \
                /usr/bin/rrdtool create $TRAF/download.rrd -s 60 \
                DS:download:GAUGE:600:0:U \
                RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:1:4320 \
                RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:1440:3 \
                RRA:MIN:0.5:1440:3 \
                /usr/bin/rrdtool create $TRAF/echoreply.rrd -s 60 \
                DS:echoreply:GAUGE:600:0:U \
                RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:1:4320 \
                RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:1440:3 \
                RRA:MIN:0.5:1440:3 \
                /usr/bin/rrdtool update $TRAF/upload.rrd N:`cat /tmp/speedtest.txt | grep Upload | awk '{print $3}'`
                /usr/bin/rrdtool update $TRAF/download.rrd N:`cat /tmp/speedtest.txt | grep Download | awk '{print $3}'`
                /usr/bin/rrdtool update $TRAF/echoreply.rrd N:`cat /tmp/speedtest.txt | grep Latency | awk '{print $2}'`
                /usr/bin/rrdtool graph $TRAF/upload.png \
                --start "-3day" \
                -c "BACK#000000" \
                -c "SHADEA#000000" \
                -c "SHADEB#000000" \
                -c "FONT#DDDDDD" \
                -c "CANVAS#202020" \
                -c "GRID#666666" \
                -c "MGRID#AAAAAA" \
                -c "FRAME#202020" \
                -c "ARROW#FFFFFF" \
                -u 1.1 -l 0 -v "Upload" -w 1100 -h 250 -t "Upload Speed - `/bin/date +%A", "%d" "%B" "%Y`" \
                DEF:upload=$TRAF/upload.rrd:upload:AVERAGE \
                AREA:upload\#FFFF00:"Upload speed (Mbit/s)" \
                GPRINT:upload:MIN:"Min\: %3.2lf " \
                GPRINT:upload:MAX:"Max\: %3.2lf" \
                GPRINT:upload:LAST:"Current\: %3.2lf\j" \

                /usr/bin/rrdtool graph $TRAF/download.png \
                --start "-3day" \
                -c "BACK#000000" \
                -c "SHADEA#000000" \
                -c "SHADEB#000000" \
                -c "FONT#DDDDDD" \
                -c "CANVAS#202020" \
                -c "GRID#666666" \
                -c "MGRID#AAAAAA" \
                -c "FRAME#202020" \
                -c "ARROW#FFFFFF" \
                -u 1.1 -l 0 -v "Download" -w 1100 -h 250 -t "Download Speed - `/bin/date +%A", "%d" "%B" "%Y`" \
                DEF:download=$TRAF/download.rrd:download:AVERAGE \
                AREA:download\#00FF00:"Download speed (Mbit/s)" \
                GPRINT:download:MIN:"Min\: %3.2lf " \
                GPRINT:download:MAX:"Max\: %3.2lf" \
                GPRINT:download:LAST:"Current\: %3.2lf\j" \

                /usr/bin/rrdtool graph $TRAF/echoreply.png \
                --start "-3day" \
                -c "BACK#000000" \
                -c "SHADEA#000000" \
                -c "SHADEB#000000" \
                -c "FONT#DDDDDD" \
                -c "CANVAS#202020" \
                -c "GRID#666666" \
                -c "MGRID#AAAAAA" \
                -c "FRAME#202020" \
                -c "ARROW#FFFFFF" \
                -u 1.1 -l 0 -v "Ping" -w 1100 -h 250 -t "Ping Response - `/bin/date +%A", "%d" "%B" "%Y`" \
                DEF:echoreply=$TRAF/echoreply.rrd:echoreply:AVERAGE \
                AREA:echoreply\#FF0000:"Ping Response (ms)" \
                GPRINT:echoreply:MIN:"Min\: %3.2lf " \
                GPRINT:echoreply:MAX:"Max\: %3.2lf" \
                GPRINT:echoreply:LAST:"Current\: %3.2lf\j" \

                echo "Invalid option.";;

Let’s do some ‘splaining

So firstly, copy everything, save it in a file (I called mine speedtest_rrd.sh), and chmod appropriately.
Let me make an assumption that all your binary or executable files are in ~/bin.

chmod 755 ~/bin/speedtest_rrd.sh

The script can take one argument ( $1 ).

Argument 1: (create)
This creates the rrd files to store history in, and creates some rrd info that we are going to display.

Argument 2: (update)
This updates the rrd database with new values.

Argument 3: (graph)
This draws the pretty graphs !

You may have noticed right at the very beginning of the script this line:
/usr/local/bin/speedtest -s 5749 -p no > /tmp/speedtest.txt 2>/dev/null

This runs the speedtest cli, and saves the output into your /tmp directory.

Running the script

Now let’s run it, and schedule it, then look at the results.

Running the script manually

Firstly we need to create the rrd database:
~/bin/speedtest_rrd.sh create


ls -l /var/www/html/rrd/*.rrd
-rw-r--r-- 1 paul paul 35840 Sep 20 22:20 /var/www/html/rrd/download.rrd
-rw-r--r-- 1 paul paul 35840 Sep 20 22:20 /var/www/html/rrd/echoreply.rrd
-rw-r--r-- 1 paul paul 35840 Sep 20 22:20 /var/www/html/rrd/upload.rrd

simple !

Now let’s do a test:
~/bin/speedtest_rrd.sh update

and now, let’s create a graph:
~/bin/speedtest_rrd.sh graph

ls -l /var/www/html/rrd/
total 188
-rw-rw-r-- 1 paul paul 28167 Sep 20 22:20 download.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 paul paul 35840 Sep 20 22:20 download.rrd
-rw-rw-r-- 1 paul paul 27113 Sep 20 22:20 echoreply.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 paul paul 35840 Sep 20 22:20 echoreply.rrd
-rw-rw-r-- 1 paul paul 21572 Sep 20 22:20 upload.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 paul paul 35840 Sep 20 22:20 upload.rrd

Alright ! we have some data !

Scheduling the script

Ok, so now we have some data, let’s start auto running the data collection.

Remember me saying at the beginning you need unlimited data on your internet?

This script will thrash your internet usage!

So with that warning out of the way, let’s chuck it in cron:

echo "*/5 *   * * *   paul /home/paul/bin/speedtest_rrd.sh update > /dev/null 2>&1 && /home/paul/bin/speedtest_rrd.sh graph > /dev/null 2>&1" >> /etc/crontab

note: I am running this script as the user ‘paul’. Change to whatever user you are running this script as.

The result

That’s it! we’re running. Let that script chug away for a few days, and you’ll get a result that looks like this:




Happy speedtesting !



This is really helpful, thank you! I made some minor edits to the script; I moved the actual speed test down to the update function so it wouldn’t run a second time when creating the graphs.


Hello, thank you for this tutorial it works great. On the other hand if I change the value of the crontab to 15 minutes …. the graphs are not updated. Do you have an idea?


For the graphs to work with a crontab of 15 min you have to modify the value 600 of “DS:upload:GAUGE:600:0:U " I put it at 1000 and everything works.


This is great. I’ve got it running every 15 min to save some data. I’m running it on a Mac and for no reason I could figure out I couldn’t get cron to work, so I put it into a LaunchAgent. I’ve gone through the RRDtool help pages and can’t find the answer. Is there any way to widen the bars since I only need 4 per hour instead of 12 with a 5 min interval? I can’t figure out the setting. Any help would be great.


Thanks! I was about 10% into writing my own version of this, and a google on how to render rrd graphs brought me here!. Saved me a ton of time. As someone else mentioned, I also moved the actual call to speedtest down into the update block but other than that it worked perfectly.

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