Linux Journal: Tweaking Tux, Part 4

“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

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.”


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