Bad Performance: Diagnostics & Troubleshooting

Bad Performance on a Linux server means that the server is not operating at its optimum level. This can manifest in different ways such as slow processing speed, high CPU or memory usage, or even frequent crashes. This problem can be caused by a variety of factors including insufficient hardware resources, inefficient software, or network problems.

Possible Causes of Bad Performance

  1. High CPU Usage: This is often caused by applications that are using too much CPU. It can also be a result of a poorly configured kernel or inefficient code.

  2. High Memory Usage: Some applications may consume more memory than they should, leading to a slowdown. It may also be a problem with the memory itself or the swap space.

  3. Disk I/O Issues: This can be caused by applications that are performing unnecessary disk operations, a slow disk, or issues with the filesystem.

  4. Network Problems: Network problems such as network failure or high network usage can also lead to bad performance.

Diagnosing Bad Performance

To diagnose bad performance, we need to identify the resource that is being over-utilized. Here are some commands that can help with this:

  1. top: This command will give you a live view of the system, showing the most resource-intensive processes.


  2. vmstat: This command shows information about processes, memory, paging, block IO, traps, and cpu activity.


  3. iostat: This command is used for monitoring system input/output device loading by observing the time the devices are active in relation to their average transfer rates.


  4. netstat: This command displays network connections, routing tables, interface statistics, masquerade connections, and multicast memberships.


Troubleshooting Bad Performance

After diagnosing the problem, the next step is to fix it. Here are some ways to do it:

  1. Optimize Software: If a particular application is causing the problem, it might be necessary to optimize it. This can involve reducing its CPU usage, memory usage, disk I/O, or network usage.

  2. Upgrade Hardware: If the server hardware is insufficient, it might be necessary to upgrade it. This can involve adding more memory, using a faster disk, or upgrading the network hardware.

  3. Reconfigure Kernel: If the kernel is not configured properly, it might be necessary to reconfigure it. This can involve changing the scheduler, adjusting kernel parameters, or updating the kernel.

Monitoring Performance

After fixing the problem, it's important to monitor performance to ensure that the problem doesn't reoccur. This can involve using the same commands used for diagnosis or using a monitoring tool like Nagios or Zabbix.


Bad performance on a Linux server can be a tricky problem to solve. However, with careful diagnosis and troubleshooting, it's possible to identify the cause and fix it. It's also important to monitor performance to prevent the problem from reoccurring. With these steps, you can ensure that your Linux server is always performing at its best.

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