Tuesday, 14 July 2009

iotop - I/O monitor

Well, just when I thought I'd stumbled on the final top like utility (see my previous articles on htop and atop), I found another: iotop

iotop watches I/O usage and displays I/O bandwidth read/write usage for processes/threads. It will also display the percentage of time processes spent while swapping in and also waiting for I/O to complete. To install iotop on a Ubuntu system use:

sudo apt-get install iotop

The left/right arrow keys change the sort column order (process ID, PRIO, USER id, disk read, disk write, swapin activity, IO activity and command used). The 'r' key toggles the sort order and the 'a' key toggles the I/O display between bandwidth and accumulated I/O stats.

above, iotop running on my laptop

So, another top tool for you to use to track down rogue processes or I/O hoggers.


  1. Nice. I'll try it with some video playback of some known bitrate content just to see how things shape up.

  2. Geeko, sounds cool. Let us know if it's a useful tool or not. Maybe there are some other apps out there which do better - feel free to tell us your results!