Monitoring system utilization on Linux hosts

I am always on the look out for tools to analyze system performance. One nifty tool I recently came across is atop, which is an advanced system performance monitor for Linux. When atop is run, it displays overall system utilization in the header, and per-process CPU, memory, network or disk utilization information in the body (you need to patch your kernel to get disk and network utilization). Here is a sample atop session that shows just how awesome this utility is:

I really dig the headers, as well as the network and disk utilization menus. Atop rocks!

2 thoughts on “Monitoring system utilization on Linux hosts”

  1. Thanks for the tip on atop! I may have to alias top to atop. After reading your note about per-process network/disk information, I was particularly excited. The fact that you have to patch your kernel for it however is ugly.

    It really makes me wonder why it’s taken so long for simple counters like this to be merged into the mainstream Linux kernel. I bet we see SystemTap go mainstream and have atop ported to it before that happens. SystemTap is already very usable as is.

  2. If you’re always looking for new tools for monitoring check out collectl at as it does just about everything you can imaging both interactively as well as in rolling logs. It has less than 0.1% of cpu overhead and can even gather some of the less common statistics such as lustre file system and infiniband. Naturally it does all the ‘standard’ ones as well. All in one tool!

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