Dstat helps you figure out why your computer is running slow

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Data Streams

It is often a good idea to take a look at the network when you want to know about the current resource consumption on a system. Depending on the data volume flow, the kernel and the application can lay claim to computing time. The option combination -n --net-packets lets you see how things are going with the current load (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Data streaming over the network also affects the condition of the system.

The net/total area summarizes all of the network interfaces and indicates the bandwidth for the incoming(recv ) and outgoing send ) data traffic in increments of bytes or kbytes per time interval. On the other hand, the pkt/total category refers to the number of data packets received (#recv ) and sent (#send ) on all network interfaces.

The information found under net/total may provide insight into bottlenecks. In the test, for example, the bandwidth for receiving data amounted to about 1.2 Mbit/s with a 16-Mbit DSL connection with 2 Mbit/s downstream. This was an indication that not much more breathing space was available.


Each option lets you keep an eye on specific individual resources. If necessary, you can combine various options for example to observe both disk I/O and the network load simultaneously.

It also makes sense to take a look at the dstat manpage, which shows numerous additional options for gathering useful information. You could try combining -n --net-packets with the --top-io option to see what happens. Some of the dstat options prove useful in monitoring servers. For example, there are specific options useful for Postfix and MySQL.

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