Tune in to your system with these popular diagnostic tools

Stat Pack


To check on the health of a Linux system, administrators can turn to vmstat, iostat, netstat, and ifstat. Or, you can just use the versatile dstat, which combines the features of several tools in a single package.

System administrators typically use multiple tools to monitor the resource load on a Linux system. But for some powerful, high-end monitoring applications, the overhead can be quite high, especially if you need to troubleshoot bottlenecks. Some tools need to run over an extended period of time, and, of course, these tools use resources themselves. This article introduces vmstat, iostat, netstat, and ifstat, four simple programs that fit well into any administrator’s toolbox. You’ll also learn about the multi-purpose dstat tool, which combines many functions of the other tools into a single utility.