Tag Archives: commands

Simple System Monitoring for a Linux Desktop

The Problem

What exactly is eating into my HDD / processor / network right now??

Yeah! On the (Linux) desktop, we’d like to know why things crawl along sometimes. Which process(es) is the culprit behind that disk activity, or the memory hogger, or eating up network bandwidth?

Many tools exist that can help us pinpoint these facts. Sometimes, though, it’s just easier if someone shows us a quick easy way to get relevant facts; so here goes:

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LINUX CHEATSHEET – vmstat, ps, top

LINUX Quick Reference Cheat Sheet

vmstat, ps, top

v 0.1 : Last Updated: March 2009 : <kaiwan at designergraphix dot com>
(c) kaiwan billimoria.

Much of the information below gleaned from various Linux man pages.




vmstat fields quick reference

The -a switch displays active/inactive memory, given a 2.5.41 kernel or better.
The -f switch displays the number of forks since boot. This includes the fork, vfork, and clone system calls, and is equivalent to the total number of tasks created. Each process is represented by one or more tasks, depending on thread usage. This display does not repeat.
The -m displays slabinfo.
The -n switch causes the header to be displayed only once rather than periodically.
The -s switch displays a table of various event counters and memory statistics. This display does not repeat.

delay is the delay between updates in seconds. If no delay is specified, only one report is printed with
the average values since boot.
count is the number of updates. If no count is specified and delay is defined, count defaults to infinity.

The -d reports disk statistics (2.5.70 or above required)
The -p followed by some partition name for detailed statistics (2.5.70 or above required)
The -S followed by k or K or m or M switches outputs between 1000, 1024, 1000000, or 1048576 bytes
The -V switch results in displaying version information.



r: The number of processes waiting for run time << ready-to-run >>.
b: The number of processes in uninterruptible sleep << blocked >>.

Memory << (default) in kilobytes >>
swpd: the amount of virtual memory used.

free: the amount of idle memory.
buff: the amount of memory used as buffers.
cache: the amount of memory used as cache << page cache, not incl. swap cache>> .
inact: the amount of inactive memory. (-a option)
active: the amount of active memory. (-a option)

Swap << in kilobytes/second >>

si: Amount of memory swapped in from disk (/s).
so: Amount of memory swapped to disk (/s).
 Continue reading LINUX CHEATSHEET – vmstat, ps, top