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I can see my Ubuntu instance (on a cloud provider) averaging thousands of blocks per second, yet when I observe in real time it's hard to see which process is causing this.

Is there a monitoring command I can employ and let it run for an hour or so and then collect disk usage information (e.g. which processes were most active in this respect, or even which files)?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

You can run iotop with the accumulated switch:

sudo iotop -a

See its manpage for more options.

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