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I'd like to watch disk activity on my USB external hard drive. I know that I can use iotop to monitor disk I/O for each running process, but is there a way to get a measure per filesystem?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

I'm not skilled in this area, but iostat comes to mind. You can install it with the sysstat package. Good luck!

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example usage: iostat -d 10 /dev/sda will give you the io utilization in 10 second intervals of /dev/sda. I'd almost use watch iostat -d /dev/sda over its interval option. Edit: beat me to it while I was typing :) –  aperson Sep 3 '10 at 21:24
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I just read that the first set of values reported are statistics from what has occurred since system startup, so it turns out not to make much sense to use watch. Continuous reporting with something like iostat -dk 10 returns more meaningful numbers. –  ændrük Sep 3 '10 at 21:41
    
Hmm... I just don't like that it fills my entire scrollback. –  aperson Sep 3 '10 at 22:08

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