Matthew Rosewarne on 7 Jan 2009 13:16:54 -0800

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[PLUG] Monitoring I/O by process

Quite a while ago at the central meeting, someone asked whether it was 
possible to find out which processes were thrashing a machine's disk.  The 
answer was that it was not possible to actually know which process was using 
the disk due to the way the kernel manages I/O.

However, there apparently has been a way to monitor I/O by process since Linux 
2.6.20 (CONFIG_TASKSTATS & CONFIG_TASK_IO_ACCOUNTING).  The "iotop" tool uses 
this information to display how much I/O each process is using.  I find it 
quite useful in finding resource hogs, since I'm more often limited by my disk 
than my CPU.

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