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trickle is a portable lightweight userspace bandwidth shaper, that either runs in collaborative mode (together with trickled) or in stand alone mode.

It works by preloading its own socket library wrappers, that limit traffic by delaying data.

Trickle runs entirely in userspace. [1]


Install the trickle package.


  • Programs that generate heavy traffic, but get controlled via a web interfaces (with very light traffic), will also have the web interface traffic shaped. This means that they will barely be accessible.
  • Trickle can only limit traffic of programs that do not fork, so shaping a FTP server's traffic will not work that way.

If you are running the daemon (see below), just start any program with "trickle" in front of it:

# trickle pacman -Syu

Otherwise also specify upload and download limit as well as other configuration options (see trickle(1) for more information):

# trickle -d200 -u50 pacman -Syu

Modifying other systemd services

Modify ExecStart for a desired systemd service, appending /usr/bin/trickle. For example:


changes to

ExecStart=/usr/bin/trickle /usr/bin/daemon

When using the standalone mode, also add the config options as described in #Usage. Restart the daemon, which should now have shaped bandwith.

Use with rsync

Instead of putting trickle in front of the rsync command (which won't work, since rsync presumably forks the ssh process), you call rsync like this:

rsync --rsh="trickle -d 10 -u 10 ssh" SRC DEST

Daemon configuration

If you want to have application specific settings with trickled, create the optional /etc/trickled.conf file as described in the trickled.conf(5) man page. For example:

Priority = 1
Time-Smoothing = 0.1
Length-Smoothing = 2
Priority = 8
Time-Smoothing = 5
Length-Smoothing = 20