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Thread: Are there any good disk activity monitors?

  1. #1
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    Jan 2008
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    Are there any good disk activity monitors?

    I am looking for a disk activity monitor that can tell me how many bytes/sec (or MB/sec) each of the disks attached to my machine are transferring. Something like the network monitor where you can see your send/receive rates, but for disks. System monitor doesn't do it, and it doesn't look like Conky does it. Any other ideas?

    I started looking for this because it seems like either Lucid is having some issues with multiple copies running simultaneously to and from the same disks, or I am having difficulty realizing just how much contention there really is. If I start a single copy operation transferring say 100GB of video files from my internal sata disk to a USB attached disk, the copy will run somewhere around 18MB/sec or a little more. If I start a second copy from the same internal disk to the same USB disk, the transfer rates start falling until they get down to around 6MB/sec combined. These numbers are from the "File Operations" dialog. The internal sata disk is formatted ext4, and the USB is ext3.

    I get more throughput than that when using Filezilla to transfer files from my media server to this same computer over my 100Mb Ethernet. As a matter of fact, while the file copies are running I can start Filezilla and get about 7.5MB/sec downloading three simultaneous files to the sata drive. I expect the individual transfers to slow down, and maybe the overall throughput to reduce due to disk contention, but I didn't expect it would fall all the way down to 1/3 or 1/4 the rate of a single copy operation. So this is why I am looking for a good disk activity monitor. So I can see what is really happening.

    Thanks,

    xeddog

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Are there any good disk activity monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by xeddog View Post
    I am looking for a disk activity monitor that can tell me how many bytes/sec (or MB/sec) each of the disks attached to my machine are transferring. Something like the network monitor where you can see your send/receive rates, but for disks. System monitor doesn't do it, and it doesn't look like Conky does it. Any other ideas?
    .......
    gkrellm
    Regards, David.
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  3. #3
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Are there any good disk activity monitors?

    Don't forget 'Conky'

  4. #4
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    Jan 2008
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    338

    Re: Are there any good disk activity monitors?

    Trying gkrellm. I don't see where Conky can do this.

    Thanks,

    xeddog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Re: Are there any good disk activity monitors?

    Trying gkrellm. I don't see where Conky can do this. It looks to me like Conky will tell you your disk utilization as a percentage of spade used, but not actual current transfer rates. Right??

    Thanks,

    xeddog

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    East of Atlantic
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Are there any good disk activity monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by xeddog View Post
    Trying gkrellm. I don't see where Conky can do this. It looks to me like Conky will tell you your disk utilization as a percentage of spade used, but not actual current transfer rates. Right??

    Thanks,

    xeddog
    Hi, did you try the "diskio" variable.
    From doc : http://conky.sourceforge.net/variables.html
    Displays current disk IO. Device is optional, and takes the form of sda for /dev/sda. Individual partitions are allowed.
    There are also : diskio_read, diskio_write, diskiograph
    Don't know if they fit tour needs !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    New Zealand
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    1,222
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Are there any good disk activity monitors?

    In the terminal type..
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install iotop
    and once it is installed type
    Code:
    iotop
    (iotop=input/output version of 'top') shows disc writes and the processes associated with them.

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