March 13, 2009
I’ve been very impressed several times in the past few months when I’ve discovered awesome new top-like utilities. I’m probably being slow on the uptake and everyone else but me knows about these, but in case its not just me thats been stuck in the ’70s:
- A much-needed refresh of oldschool top, this still works on your beloved console but gives you visual bar-graphs of CPU, RAM and swap, lets you scroll through the processes and deliver signals/renicing without having to copy the PID off the moving target. Its like the future!
- One of those things I use so often now I have no idea how I even survived without it. Why is this server lagging, who’s hogging the wireless/DSL, which VM is chewing all of the upstream bandwidth? iftop shows you at a glance how much traffic is being used by which host pairs on a given interface, and you can toggle port numbers on and off with simple key-presses. Absolutely indispensable.
- Does this box feel slow to anyone else? Is it swapping, or is it the database server chewing all the IO? Why does my drive keep seeking? It’s amazing… top for IO bandwidth usage!
A passing mention is deserved for apachetop too, which is pretty neat, but when a server is being hammered it’s not something I found too hard to get a feel for just by tailing the log for a while, so it’s not been as life-changing as the others. Maybe that just means my servers don’t see enough traffic.
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Don’t forget mytop =)
iostat -k 1
Perhaps you might want to try ‘mytop’ or ‘ptop’, for MySQL and PostgreSQL respectively
Thanks for the iotop link, but here’s a few more you might like: powertop, latencytop, atop (combines almost everything) and xrestop.
Wow, thanks so much, especially for pointing out iotop.
I really like iotop, though it needs io accounting enabled in the kernel and I noticed several distro’s leaving this off by default. (I don’t think it causes that much overhead though).
Mytop (http://jeremy.zawodny.com/mysql/mytop/) is also very useful if you’re a mysql DBA.
Check out gnome-system-monitor, it’s quite nice these days.
The graphing does eat too much cpu though, which is a bit silly when measing CPU usage….
If you’re using Xen / KVM virtualization via libvirt, then there is another ‘top’ you might be interested in, namely virt-top (http://et.redhat.com/~rjones/virt-top/). Shows a summary of your virtual machines, allowing ordering by CPU usage, disk or network I/O rates
Don’t forget powertop!
Thanks! I had never heard of htop/iotop before but they are great. You might also want to mention powertop which is great for finding out what processes are causing interrupts.
Ooooh, iftop. Pretty much exactly what I wanted, although it would be great if it did process name lookups and let me see cumulative totals per connection.
I also used “nethogs” a lot.
Thanks… I had never heard of iotop. Looks useful. I like the ideas of htop but its just never really replaced top for me. Not sure why. I do like atop when I need longer-term stats, though it requires setuid/root.
Don’t forget nload (which I prefer for just checking how much bandwidth I currently use) and xrestop (x11 server side ressource usage).
You also have ptop : a top-like for PostgreSQL
iftop is very cool indeed!
Btw, did you know nmon?
Don’t forget powertop.
You’re not slow – I’ve been using htop for years, but everywhere I go, people are still torturing themselves with plain top. Evangelize! Friends don’t let friends use top.
We should form some kind of secret society.
I’d also highly recommend atop, which combines disk and network I/O into the usual “top” report, and also tracks processes which exited during the snapshot interval, which regular top doesn’t do.
The future I tell you! The future!
Also mtop, for mysql
On the ‘top’ theme, there is also mytop (and innotop).