How can I analyse the level of harddisk access?

Asked by Timmie on 2007-08-19

Is there a program which can help me to analyse the level of harddisk access of the running programs?

I am looking for something like top/ps/htop that shows instead of the CPU-usage the harddisk access level of the programs.

Sometimes my work gets blocked because some program accesses the harddisk extensively and I want to trace this high disk activity down to the right program.

Thanks for your help!

Question information

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Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu Edit question
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Solved by:
Timmie
Solved:
2007-08-20
Last query:
2007-08-20
Last reply:
2007-08-20
Stratus (saftousmis) said : #1

I don't know if this will help, but you can add a system monitor to a panel to monitor hard drive access (graph display).

Right click on a panel and "Add to panel", and from the list choose "System Monitor".

After that right click on System Monitor and configure what you want displayed.

Cesare Tirabassi (norsetto) said : #2

I've been dealing with Conky recently, and I can recommend it.
For instance, these are some of the variables you can show:

diskio
    Displays current disk IO.

diskiograph (height),(width) (gradient colour 1) (gradient colour 2) (scale)
    Disk IO graph, colours defined in hex, minus the #. If scale is non-zero, it becomes the scale for the graph.

diskio_read
    Displays current disk IO for reads.

diskio_readgraph (height),(width) (gradient colour 1) (gradient colour 2) (scale)
    Disk IO graph for reads, colours defined in hex, minus the #. If scale is non-zero, it becomes the scale for the graph.

diskio_write
    Displays current disk IO for writes.

diskio_writegraph (height),(width) (gradient colour 1) (gradient colour 2) (scale)
    Disk IO graph for writes, colours defined in hex, minus the #. If scale is non-zero, it becomes the scale for the graph.

For more info: http://conky.sourceforge.net/

You can install it from the ubuntu repositories.

Sam Cater (wraund) said : #3

i myself use gkrellm2, a very neat program that can analyse pretty much all aspects of your system.

Timmie (timmie) said : #4

The functionality is exactly what I am after.
But is there a program which can do this without all this configurations?

Just output on the command line?

Timmie (timmie) said : #5

Maybe I should try to be more precicely:
I want to see by percentage the disk I/O processes sorted by the name of the programm. then I'd be able to know if it's firefox or openoffice or whatever which is keeping the harddsik that busy that I cannot do anything else.

Thanks.

Bhavani Shankar (bhavi) said : #6

I use conky... sudo apt-get install conky from a terminal installs conky... and More info about conky can be found by man conky command.. and http://conky.sourceforge.net/faq.html

- (a--deactivatedaccount) said : #7

run 'top' on the command line.

Timmie (timmie) said : #8

Hello,
since none of the answers offered here did satify me I used the following terms for another Google search:

"harddisk io stats by program linux "

I found a number of interesting programs which I rank here according how they match my needs here:

1) atop
http://www.atcomputing.nl/Tools/atop
Kind of advanced top which can interactively issue a command D to sort the processes by percentage of disk usage:
http://oldwww.atconsultancy.nl/atop/screenshots.html#dskoutpatch

=> Kernel needs to be patched for this kind of usage!

2) sysstat package
http://perso.orange.fr/sebastien.godard/documentation.html
A more general set of tools.

3) pio and topio
http://rootshell.be/~yong321/freeware/pio.html#mostuseful => only for Solaris and windows, the page explains why linux kernels aren't ready for such a task, yet.

Hope that this is also of help for others.