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I can't imagine this is not possible.... but I can't figure out where to enable it.

can't system monitor (gnome-system-monitor) display disk io?

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1  
Please have a look at askubuntu.com/questions/293426/… – Qasim Feb 27 '14 at 15:04
    
@Qasim This is not a duplicate, the OP is asking if gnome-system-monitor can display io stats, not what tools can. – Seth Feb 28 '14 at 4:46
    
@Seth.. I didn't marked it as duplicate, i just paste the link to have a look :) – Qasim Feb 28 '14 at 9:58

Why you don't use iostat :

sudo apt-get install sysstat

iostat is found in sysstat package .

For example :

iostat -d 30 /dev/sda 

will give you I/O result in 30 s interval

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You can use system monitor from KDE (ksysguard), open it, go to file and click on "download new tabs" then, you can download disc io.

Anyway, lots of tools let you watch disc IO, for example gnome-shell plugins, Unity indicators, KDE plasmoids or conky.

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I gave up on gnome-system-monitor for this reason.

On my 12.04 machines I installed indicator-multiload. Once installed you can use the Preferences page to get it so show disk i/o - along with memory, swap, network, etc...

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it's a shame it can't do it... – otmezger Feb 28 '14 at 14:22

You can try nmon

sudo apt-get install nmon

Try:

nmon

Output Like below:

enter image description here

Press d = Disk Press c = CPU Press r = RAM Press q to exit

You can also give try with:

iostat

Output like below:

Linux 3.16.0-30-generic (client01)    03/01/2016      _i686_  (2 CPU)

avg-cpu:  %user   %nice %system %iowait  %steal   %idle
      39.73   24.58    2.96    0.26    0.00   32.48

Device:            tps    kB_read/s    kB_wrtn/s    kB_read    kB_wrtn
sda               3.32        57.31        40.05  119879872   83767716
sdb               1.45        15.02        22.60   31424408   47273012
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