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July 2020


vnstat on EdgeRouter – historical bandwidth monitoring and graphical dashboard tutorial

Stanislav KhromovStanislav Khromov

This post will show you how to install vnstat and vnstati on the EdgeRouter for bandwidth monitoring, as well as how to create a graphical dashboardwith historical bandwidth data.


Add non-free sources to APT:

EdgeOS 1.X

set system package repository wheezy components 'main contrib non-free' 
set system package repository wheezy distribution wheezy 
set system package repository wheezy url
commit ; save
sudo apt-get update

EdgeOS 2.X

set system package repository stretch components 'main contrib non-free' 
set system package repository stretch distribution stretch
set system package repository stretch url
commit ; save
sudo apt-get update

Install the packages

sudo apt-get install vnstat vnstati

vnstat configuration

Edit the config file in /etc/vnstat.conf to be like the following. This will make sure your bandwidth data will survive a firmware update. (However, you’ll have to reinstall and reconfigure vnstat / vnstati after a firmware update).

# vnStat 1.11 config file

# default interface
Interface "eth0"

# location of the database directory
DatabaseDir "/var/lib/vnstat"

# locale (LC_ALL) ("-" = use system locale)
Locale "-"

# on which day should months change
MonthRotate 1

# date output formats for -d, -m, -t and -w
# see 'man date' for control codes
DayFormat    "%x"
MonthFormat  "%b '%y"
TopFormat    "%x"

# characters used for visuals
RXCharacter       "%"
TXCharacter       ":"
RXHourCharacter   "r"
TXHourCharacter   "t"

# how units are prefixed when traffic is shown
# 0 = IEC standard prefixes (KiB/MiB/GiB/TiB)
# 1 = old style binary prefixes (KB/MB/GB/TB)
UnitMode 0

# output style
# 0 = minimal & narrow, 1 = bar column visible
# 2 = same as 1 except rate in summary and weekly
# 3 = rate column visible
OutputStyle 3

# used rate unit (0 = bytes, 1 = bits)
RateUnit 1

# maximum bandwidth (Mbit) for all interfaces, 0 = disable feature
# (unless interface specific limit is given)
MaxBandwidth 1000

# interface specific limits
#  example 8Mbit limit for eth0 (remove # to activate):
#MaxBWeth0 8

# how many seconds should sampling for -tr take by default
Sampletime 5

# default query mode
# 0 = normal, 1 = days, 2 = months, 3 = top10
# 4 = dumpdb, 5 = short, 6 = weeks, 7 = hours
QueryMode 0

# filesystem disk space check (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled)
CheckDiskSpace 1

# database file locking (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled)
UseFileLocking 1

# how much the boot time can variate between updates (seconds)
BootVariation 15

# log days without traffic to daily list (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled)
TrafficlessDays 1

# vnstatd

# how often (in seconds) interface data is updated
UpdateInterval 30

# how often (in seconds) interface status changes are checked
PollInterval 5

# how often (in minutes) data is saved to file
SaveInterval 60

# how often (in minutes) data is saved when all interface are offline
OfflineSaveInterval 60

# force data save when interface status changes (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled)
SaveOnStatusChange 0

# enable / disable logging (0 = disabled, 1 = logfile, 2 = syslog)
UseLogging 1

# file used for logging if UseLogging is set to 1
LogFile "/var/log/vnstat.log"

# file used as daemon pid / lock file
PidFile "/var/run/"

# vnstati

# title timestamp format
HeaderFormat "%x %H:%M"

# show hours with rate (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled)
HourlyRate 1

# show rate in summary (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled)
SummaryRate 1

# layout of summary (1 = with monthly, 0 = without monthly)
SummaryLayout 1

# transparent background (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled)
TransparentBg 0

# image colors
CBackground     "FFFFFF"
CEdge           "AEAEAE"
CHeader         "606060"
CHeaderTitle    "FFFFFF"
CHeaderDate     "FFFFFF"
CText           "000000"
CLine           "B0B0B0"
CLineL          "-"
CRx             "92CF00"
CTx             "606060"
CRxD            "-"
CTxD            "-"

Using vnstat

Monthly bandwidth

vnstat -m -i eth0

Daily bandwidth

vnstat -d -i eth0

Live bandwidth usage

vnstat -l -i eth0

Configure vnstati to generate images for bandwidth dashboard

Create the file /var/lib/vnstat/ with the content:

vnstati -s -i eth0 -o /var/www/htdocs/media/vnstat-summary.png
vnstati -h -i eth0 -o /var/www/htdocs/media/vnstat-hourly.png
vnstati -m -i eth0 -o /var/www/htdocs/media/vnstat-monthly.png
vnstati -d -i eth0 -o /var/www/htdocs/media/vnstat-daily.png

Make it executable:

chmod +x /var/lib/vnstat/

Schedule the script to run every hour to keep the images up to date:

crontab -e

Add the line:

0 * * * * /var/lib/vnstat/

Set up a dashboard

Create the file /var/www/htdocs/media/dashboard.html

Add the content below. Replace with your router IP.

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>BW Dashboard</title>
        body {
            text-align: center;

<img src="">

<h3>24 hour</h3>
<img src="">

<img src="">

<img src="">

Now you can visit your dashboard at (replace with your router IP).


sudo apt-get clean && sudo apt-get autoclean && sudo apt-get autoremove && rm /var/cache/apt/pkgcache.bin /var/cache/apt/srcpkgcache.bin

More reading

Web Developer at Aftonbladet (Schibsted Media Group)
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Comments 4
  • George
    Posted on

    George George

    Reply Author

    Thanks for the useful write-up, Stanislav. This configuration is writing data to the flash drive on the router. Aren’t you worried about read-write wear? Could you clarify which line exactly preserves the vnstat database on firmware updates?

  • Brian
    Posted on

    Brian Brian

    Reply Author

    I’m storing my files in /var/log – which is in memory – and backing those up to flash daily. Here are my scripts based off of your code above: Files/backups are stored in /config/vnstat. is called if the device receives an upgrade (via script in /config/scripts/post-config.d) as well as via vnstat.init

    • Stanislav Khromov
      Posted on

      Stanislav Khromov Stanislav Khromov

      Reply Author

      That’s so great Brian, thank you for the improvements to the original scripts!

      • Brian
        Posted on

        Brian Brian

        Reply Author

        I’ve added a few other changes that someone else provided me, so I’ve put those and installers on github. My goal was to make it easy to support upgrades and EdgeOS updates. Feedback is welcome: