Linux Journal: Tweaking Tux, Part 4Oct 22, 2000, 12:52 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marcel Gagné)
"Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is time for another installment of the "SysAdmin's Corner", an unabashed exploration of Linux and the joys of maintaining, administering and just plain mucking about with your favorite OS. Thanks, everyone, for the amazing response to "Tweaking Tux, Part III'. Apparently, there were a lot of people just waiting to speed up that old hard drive. Glad I could help."
"With this installment, I want to get back to some of the basics. How do you read your system's mind? How can you find out if old Tux is maybe a little stressed out? We've already seen uptime and top. I hinted (actually, I might have said it) that one of top's problems is that it is top-heavy (ahem). When you run it, the program itself is often the most active and taxing process. This calls for something lighter and faster. I showed you something called free to whet your appetite. Now, I am going to show you something else."
"This little command is virtually ubiquitous in some form or another, in that you can find it on most UNIX systems (including, of course, Linux). It represents another means of taking a peek into current CPU usage--it is called vmstat. (Ah, the command line lives!) The format of the command is vmstat interval_in_seconds number_of_intervals. In the following examples, I am taking a sample every 2 seconds for 5 iterations."