Testing Network Performance Using Iperf

Just a quick post on a great tool for testing network performance. Iperf is a very slim tool that will measure TCP/UDP bandwidth performance. It is an available ubuntu package “iperf ” and also has Windows/OSX binaries available. I found a working mirror here. What makes Iperf a good test versus a simple SMB/CIFS transfer for bandwidth performance is that it works in memory versus being limited by hard drive and CPU limitations.

Now a quick guide to get things up and running. The guide will be for two Ubuntu machines, testing network performance between the two.

1.Install – Type the following in terminal “sudo apt-get install iperf ” for both machines

2.Server Setup – Decide upon a server machine and a client. On the server type the following in terminal “iperf -s ”. This will place iperf in server mode, and it will listen for incoming connections.

iperf server

3.Client Setup - On the client machine you have a lot of options to play around with regarding how you want to connect to the server. You can explore what each of these are by typing “iperf –-help ”. The following is a simple test between the server (192.168.2.104), and the client (192.168.2.103).

4.Testing - Type “iperf 192.168.2.104 -i 2” (replacing the IP here with the test server IP and then enter key to start testing. This will connect to the server running on 192.168.2.104 and have an interval of 2 seconds. There will then be 6 tests completed. This should give you all of the information you need regarding your connection speed between the two machines.

iperf client

This should be enough to get you started using iperf. Check out the man page here if you have any usage questions.

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