How to Test Your Linux Internet Speed Using Speedtest CLI

We always need to check the speed of the Internet connection at home and office. What do we do about this? Go to websites like Speedtest.net and begin the test. It loads JavaScript in the web browser and then selects the best server based upon ping and outputs the result. It also uses a Flash player to produce graphical results.

[ You might also like: Fast – Test Your Internet Download Speed from Linux Terminal ]

What about a headless server, where isn’t any web-based browser and the main point is, most of the servers are headless. Another bottleneck of such web browser-based speed testing is that you can’t schedule the speed testing at regular intervals.

Here comes an application “Speedtest-cli” that removes such bottlenecks and lets you test the speed of Internet connection from the command line.

What is Speedtest-cli

The application is basically a script developed in the Python programming language. It measures Internet Bandwidth speed bidirectionally. It uses speedtest.net infrastructure to measure the speed. Speedtest-cli is able to list servers based upon physical distance, test against the specific servers, and gives you a URL to share the result of your internet speed test.

To install the latest speedtest-cli tool in Linux systems, you must have Python 2.4-3.4 or a higher version installed on the system.

[ You might also like: How to Install Latest Python 3.6 Version in Linux ]

Install speedtest-cli in Linux

There are three ways to install the speedtest-cli tool. The first method involves the use of python-pip package while the second method is to download the Python script, make it executable and run it and the third method is to use the package manager. Here I will cover all ways…

Let’s get started…

Install speedtest-cli Using Python PIP

First, you need to install the python-pip package, then afterward you can install the speedtest-cli tool using the pip command as shown below.

Install PIP in Debian/Ubuntu/Mint
$ sudo apt install python-pip                [Python 2]
$ sudo apt install python3-venv python3-pip  [Python 3]
Install PIP in CentOS/RHEL
$ sudo yum install epel-release 
$ sudo install python-pip
Install PIP in Fedora
$ sudo yum upgrade python-setuptools
$ sudo yum install python-pip python-wheel  [Python 2]
$ sudo dnf install python3 python3-wheel    [Python 3]
Install PIP in openSUSE
$ sudo zypper install python-pip python-setuptools python-wheel    [Python 2]
$ sudo zypper install python3-pip python3-setuptools python3-wheel [Python 3]
Install PIP in Arch Linux
$ sudo pacman -S python2-pip     [Python 2]
$ sudo pacman -S python-pip      [Python 3]

Once pip has been installed, you can install the speedtest-cli tool.

$ sudo pip install speedtest-cli
OR
$ sudo pip3 install speedtest-cli

To upgrade speedtest-cli, at a later stage, use.

$ sudo pip install speedtest-cli --upgrade

Install speedtest-cli Using Python Script

First, download the python script from Github using the wget command or curl command and make the script file executable.

$ wget -O speedtest-cli https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest.py
$ chmod +x speedtest-cli

OR

$ curl -Lo speedtest-cli https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest.py
$ chmod +x speedtest-cli 

Next, move the executable to /usr/bin folder, so that you don’t need to type the full path every time.

$ sudo mv speedtest-cli /usr/bin/

Install speedtest-cli Using Package Manager

You can also install speedtest-cli using your default package manager as shown.

------ On Ubuntu/Debian/Mint ------ 
$ curl -s https://install.speedtest.net/app/cli/install.deb.sh | sudo bash
$ sudo apt-get install speedtest
------ On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora ------
$ curl -s https://install.speedtest.net/app/cli/install.rpm.sh | sudo bash
$ sudo yum install speedtest

Testing Linux Internet Connection Speed with speedtest-cli

1. To test the Download and Upload speed of your internet connection, run the speedtest-cli command without any argument as shown below.

$ speedtest-cli
Check Linux Download and Upload Speed
Check Linux Download and Upload Speed

2. To check the speed result in bytes in place of bits.

$ speedtest-cli --bytes
Check Linux Internet Speed in Bytes
Check Linux Internet Speed in Bytes

3. Share your bandwidth speed with your friends or family. You are provided with a link that can be used to download an image.

$ speedtest-cli --share
Share Linux Internet Speed Test Results
Share Linux Internet Speed Test Results

The following picture is a sample speed test result generated using the above command.

View Linux Internet Speed Test Results
View Linux Internet Speed Test Results

4. Don’t need any additional information other than Ping, Download, and Upload?

$ speedtest-cli --simple
Test Linux Internet Speed
Test Linux Internet Speed

5. List the speedtest.net server-based upon physical distance. The distance in km is mentioned.

$ speedtest-cli --list
List Speedtest Servers
List Speedtest Servers

6. The last stage generated a huge list of servers sorted on the basis of distance. How to get desired output? Say I only want to see the speedtest.net server located in Mumbai (India).

$ speedtest-cli --list | grep -i Mumbai
List Nearest Speedtest Servers
List Nearest Speedtest Servers

7. Test connection speed against a specific server. Use Server Id generated in example 5 and example 6 in above.

$ speedtest-cli --server 23647      ## Here server ID 23647 is used in the example.
Test Linux Internet Speed Against Server
Test Linux Internet Speed Against Server

8. To check the version number and help of speedtest-cli a tool.

$ speedtest-cli --version
$ speedtest-cli --help
Speedtest Version and Help
Speedtest Version and Help

Note: Latency reported by the tool is not its goal and one should not rely on it. The relative latency values output is responsible for the server selected to be tested against. CPU and Memory capacity will influence the result to a certain extent.

Conclusion

The tool is a must for system administrators and developers. A simple script that runs without any issue. I must say that the application is wonderful, lightweight, and do what it promises. I disliked Speedtest.net for the reason it was using flash, but speedtest-cli gave me a reason to love them.

speedtest_cli is a third-party application and should not be used to automatically record the bandwidth speed. Speedtest.net is used by millions of users and it is a good idea to Set Your Own Speedtest Mini Server.

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41 thoughts on “How to Test Your Linux Internet Speed Using Speedtest CLI”

  1. @avishek, great job!
    But im specting error ” Failed to retrieve list of speedtest.net servers ”
    Just try to find line 345 but not found the code. ive installed from PIP install

    [email protected]:/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages# ls
    speedtest_cli-0.3.2.egg-info speedtest_cli.py speedtest_cli.pyc

    [email protected]:/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages# ./speedtest_cli.py –version
    0.3.2

    On Line 384 i have this code:

    urls = [
    ‘https://www.speedtest.net/speedtest-servers-static.php’,
    ‘http://c.speedtest.net/speedtest-servers-static.php’,
    ]

    Tks!

    Reply
  2. I installed using pip. run the command, but the respond is “Command not found.”
    I’m using Ubuntu 14.04

    Reply
  3. just FYI, on FreeBSD 10.1-STABLE the script fails because it cannot retrieve the list :

    ./speedtest_cli.py
    Retrieving speedtest.net configuration…
    Could not retrieve speedtest.net configuration

    Any ideas why?
    Python version is 2.7.9

    Reply
    • Have u installed PIP?
      Followed the installation instruction from top to bottom?
      remove the downloaded package and Download the package once again.
      If problem still persists, report us with your distribution and version information and we would be happy to help.

      P.S : Hope nothing is messed up in DNS. :P

      Reply
  4. My result using Speedtest-CLI was D: 11.03 U: 4.47
    When I test it using browser (chrome on speedtest.net), my result is D:29.20 U: 30.55 (this is expected result)
    Why the difference?

    Reply
    • Though it is very strange since Speedteest-CLI uses the same engine as speedtest.net, I have got similar feedback from a few users. Moreover it is possible that ISP is playing nasty with certain speedtest sites or the application is buggy.

      Reply
  5. The command didn’t work as reported. I itried speedtest_cli.py with no success. I instead was able to get results with just speedtest-cli at the command prompt. Just an fyi.

    It works exactly as you said otherwise and looks quite handy. thanks!

    Reply
    • Would you please tell us the distribution and version you have installed. Also let us know how you installed the package?
      Thanks for taking the time and commenting.

      Reply
  6. All I get is:

    $ speedtest-cli
    Retrieving speedtest.net configuration…
    Retrieving speedtest.net server list…
    Failed to parse list of speedtest.net servers

    Reply
    • I get the same:

      OS : CENTOS 6.6

      Retrieving speedtest.net configuration…
      Retrieving speedtest.net server list…
      Failed to retrieve list of speedtest.net servers

      Reply
      • Change line 345 in the script

        uh = urlopen(‘http://c.speedtest.net/speedtest-servers-static.php’)

        to

        uh = urlopen(‘http://www.speedtest.net/speedtest-servers-static.php’)

        save and exit. Try running speedtest-cli again. It should work.

        Kudos!!!

        Reply
      • Change line 345 in the script

        uh = urlopen(‘http://c.speedtest.net/speedtest-servers-static.php’)

        to

        uh = urlopen(‘http://www.speedtest.net/speedtest-servers-static.php’)

        save and exit. Try running speedtest-cli again. It should work.

        Kudos!!!

        Reply
    • Change line 345 in the script

      uh = urlopen(‘http://c.speedtest.net/speedtest-servers-static.php’)

      to

      uh = urlopen(‘http://www.speedtest.net/speedtest-servers-static.php’)

      save and exit. Try running speedtest-cli again. It should work.

      Kudos!!!

      Reply
  7. I think, this kind of utility must be written in C, not in Python. I don’t want to install package managers, like pip. I’d like to execute binaries!

    Reply
    • Why would you want to write something in C that doesn’t need to be?

      btw, Arch linux has a package in the AUR for this, and it works just like any other binary. You should check with your distro to see if they have packaged it already.

      Also, author -> s/pythin-pip/python-pip/

      Reply
    • Writing such application in C would be perhaps a tiresome job. Such applications are not meant to be written from scratch when you can use already developed small pieces of software.

      Reply

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