How to display Internet Speed on Debian and Ubuntu Desktop

While using a network connection, you may often want to check the speed of it. In fact, it is sometimes necessary to check and keep an eye on internet speed. And what if you get internet speed on your desktop without the need of opening any browser or application. There is a way I can show you how to achieve that. In a Linux OS, there is a useful extension NetSpeed that can be used to keep an eye on the internet speed right away from your desktop.

Netspeed helps to monitor both upload and download speed of multiple network interfaces. You can view internet speed on the top right panel of your desktop. The internet speed is displayed in bytes/sec.

In this article, we will explain how to add NetSpeed extension in a Linux based operating system. It is really a quick and easy way to install NetSpeed. We will use Debian 10 OS for describing the procedure mentioned in this article.

Install NetSpeed extension

We will install the NetSpeed extension by using the Debian Software center. To launch it, press the Windows key on your keyboard to display Activities overview. Then on the left, a Dash menu will appear. From there, select the Software Center icon as shown below.

Ubuntu Desktop

Then in the search bar of software center, type netspeed. When the results appear, click on the NetSpeed extension.

Search for netspeed app

You will see the following view after clicking on the extension. Now to display internet speed on desktop, we will need to add the NetSpeed extension. To do so, click on the Install button.

Install Netspeed

Then confirmation dialog will appear for you to confirm the installation. Click on the Install button to confirm.

Install application

It will take just a few seconds to add this extension. Once completed, you will notice the download and upload speed for a specific network device at the top right corner of your desktop.

Network speed shown in GNOME Desktop navigation bar

When clicked, a small menu will appear displaying all active network interfaces with their download and upload speed respectively.

Detailed network speed info

Configuring NetSpeed extension

To see more information and to configure NetSpeed extension, click on the cog icon in the pop-up menu. It will open up the Settings dialog box. From there, you can configure some options like:

Device to monitor

When you click the drop-down arrow in front of the device to monitor option, it will list all the active network interfaces. Select the interface that you want to be monitored by NetSpeed. You have the option to monitor a single interface or all interfaces.

Display Sum of bandwidth

You can choose to display download and upload internet speed separately, or you can choose to display the combined sum of both.


By default, NetSpeed will run after every 1 second (1000 ms). However, you can change the update the interval to any number.

NetSpeed settings

So, that was the quick overview of installing and using NetSpeed extension on Debian 10. You can easily install this handy tool for displaying internet speed on your Desktop.