iotop – simple top-like I/O monitor

iotop does for I/O usage what top does for CPU usage. It watches I/O usage information output by the Linux kernel (requires 2.6.20 or later) and displays a table of current I/O usage by processes on the system. Handy for answering the question “Why is my disk churning so much?”.
Install iotop in debian

#apt-get install iotop

This will complete the installation.

Using iotop

type iotop in your terminal and you will get a regularly updated list of processes and the amount of I/O they are currently using: reads and writesin bytes per second, and percentage of time spent swapping and waiting for I/O.


iotop needs the CONFIG_TASK_DELAY_ACCT and CONFIG_TASK_IO_ACCOUNTING options enabled in the kernel; in Debian stock kernels, that’s already the case.



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4 thoughts on “iotop – simple top-like I/O monitor

  1. use the -o switch to view only the process actually doing I/O, instead of all the processes.
    [code]iotop -o[/code]

  2. great tool to watch the Hd workload, i can recommend htop instead of old plain top

  3. use the -d for delay between iterations , here i will use 3s delay
    iotop -o -d 3

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