atop Command: Tutorial & Examples
Monitor System Resources in Real-Time
atop command is a powerful tool in the Linux system administrator's arsenal. It provides a
live, rolling view of system resources, making it an invaluable resource when monitoring system performance. Unlike
other system monitoring tools,
atop has the ability to report on all processes, even those that have completed during
the interval, making it a superior choice for spotting short-lived processes.
atop command works by collecting information from various system resources at regular intervals (default is 10
seconds, but this can be adjusted). The data is presented in a user-friendly format, making it easy to assess the state
of the system at a glance.
Why is the
atop Command Important?
atop command is particularly useful for diagnosing high load situations where it's not
immediately apparent what is causing the strain on system resources. By offering a comprehensive overview of system
atop allows administrators to identify problematic processes and take appropriate action.
Common Problems Solved by
Identifying Resource-Hungry Processes: If your system is running slow,
atopcan help identify the processes that are consuming the most resources.
Monitoring System Performance Over Time:
atopcan be used to log system performance over an extended period, making it easier to spot trends or potential issues.
Troubleshooting System Crashes: If your system has experienced a crash,
atoplogs can provide valuable insight into what was happening on the system just before the crash occurred.
Examples of Using
To start using
atop, simply type atop in your shell and press enter:
This will start
atop with the default interval of 10 seconds. The information displayed includes CPU usage, memory
usage, disk I/O, network activity, and more.
To change the interval to 5 seconds:
This will refresh the
atop display every 5 seconds.
To log system performance for a specific duration, use the
-w option with a file path and the duration in seconds:
atop -w /tmp/atop.log 60
This will write
atop data to
/tmp/atop.log every 60 seconds.
Typical Output of
A typical output of
atop command looks like this:
ATOP - hostname 15:24:36 up 1:14, 1 user loadavg: 0.06, 0.02, 0.00
PRD SECS CPU %usr %sys %irq %idle | MEM tot used free buff cache | DSK read write | NET recv send
1 60 cpu 2 1 0 97 | mem 1.9G 628M 1.3G 35M 287M | dsk 0.0 0.0 | net 0.0 0.0
PRD is the interval duration,
SECS is the number of seconds since
CPU shows the CPU
MEM shows memory usage,
DSK shows disk I/O, and
NET shows network activity.
atop command is an extremely useful tool for Linux system administrators. It provides a real-time overview of
system resources, and its logging capabilities make it ideal for troubleshooting and long-term system monitoring. Next
time you're facing a high load, remember to give
atop a try!