Speed Test for Nerds

Most people with Internet access in their houses have visited a speed-test Web site to make sure they're getting somewhere close to the speed they're overpaying for. I'm paying more than $100 a month for my business-class connection from Charter, so on a regular basis, I make sure I'm getting the advertised speed. (I seldom get the advertised speed, but the margin of error is acceptable. I guess.)

One of the frustrations with Internet speed tests is that most of them require Adobe Flash to work. Even those sites that don't require Flash do require a rather robust (and frivolous) GUI that I find annoying at best. If you're anything like me, you'd like a simple command-line tool that gives you your speed. If you're truly like me, that last sentence just sparked notions of automated scripts e-mailing results via timed cron jobs at different times during the day. Welcome to the club; we're all nerds here.

Thankfully, my friend Charlie K. (I won't use his last name, because I didn't ask him if I could) posted a link on Google Plus to the speedtest-cli program. The project is on GitHub at https://github.com/sivel/speedtest-cli, and to get the Python-based program, simply do this:

# wget -O speedtest-cli \ 
# chmod +x speedtest-cli

Then execute the script ./speedtest-cli to get your results. There are advanced options as well, but a simple execution of the script will provide your speed results. You can see the results of my supposed 80/5 business connection in the screenshot.


Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.