The sys admin’s daily grind: Dstat

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Article from Issue 150/2013

Occasional worries about the system status are part of the sys admin’s daily life, and admins usually keep a fat toolbox of top and stat tools to alleviate them. Charly says he can manage with just one multitool – for the time being, at least.

How many times have I written about tools that have “top” or “stat” in their names? It feels like umpteen times. Today, Dstat [1] makes it umpteen+1. This tool, which many distributions already have in their repositories, claims it will save me the trouble of making that umpteen+ 2 times, while sending many system reporting tools into a well-earned retirement.

Although Dstat suffers from no shortage of parameters, I first called it without any. The results are lines of the most important system data written once a second (Figure 1). But, if you want to drill into the depths of the network, you can use the ‑tcp and ‑udp switches. Using ‑N eth1 restricts the output to a single interface. As for the network, other parameters can help bring details to light for all other system components.

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