I have a very slow SSD on an eeepc900A, and it occasionally freezes the OS (even the mouse pointer) with system monitor showing excessive IOWait. How can I diagnose what is causing this and should the system allow it?



2 Answers 2


You could install the package iotop

sudo apt-get install iotop

and run the program to see what has high io demands at those moments.

  • Thanks. Unfortunately iotop tells me: CONFIG_TASK_DELAY_ACCT not enabled in kernel, cannot determine SWAPIN and IO % Any way around that?
    – themuddler
    Aug 7, 2010 at 22:55
  • That said, iotop -o seems to give me all I need to know for now.
    – themuddler
    Aug 7, 2010 at 22:58
  • @themuddler: I am not sure if the changed kernel will be backported, but in Maverick this kernel configuration will be enabled.
    – txwikinger
    Aug 7, 2010 at 23:02
  • Even without CONFIG_TASK_DELAY_ACCT enabled in the kernel, you can still see which applications read or write the most (try left & right arrow to select the "sort column")
    – JanC
    Aug 22, 2010 at 19:20

There's a good ServerFault answere here


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