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?

  • 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
  • 1
    The feature request is tracked here. – xuhdev May 28 '17 at 17:35

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


You can try nmon

sudo apt-get install 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:


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

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.

  • It cannot download the tabs: "Loading of providers [..] failed". – Jānis Elmeris Jan 4 '18 at 17:45
  • Same, loading providers failed – Douglas Gaskell Apr 21 '18 at 7:19

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...

  • it's a shame it can't do it... – otmezger Feb 28 '14 at 14:22
  • When I run indicator-multiload, nothing happens at all. – Jānis Elmeris Jan 5 '18 at 19:25

There are lot of tools to monitor system stats. I have written a script for system profiling. You can use this as well more over.

You can use iotop & iostat. They will give you a better representation of system utilization. sysstat package will give you access to other monitoring utilities.

# apt-get install iotop sysstat
# iostat -dx
Linux 4.4.0-64-generic (ip-172-16-27-59)        03/10/2017      _x86_64_        (4 CPU)

Device:  rrqm/    swrqm/s     r/s     w/s     rkB/s    wkB/s avgrq-sz avgqu-sz   await r_await w_await  svctm  %util
xvda              0.00     4.36    0.83    2.77    15.64    56.59    40.14     0.01    2.18    0.82    2.59   0.63   0.23
xvdb              0.00     0.09    0.01    0.11     0.06     7.21   120.59     0.00    1.29    0.85    1.35   0.34   0.00

From man iostat:

     The number (after merges) of read requests completed per second for the device.
     The number (after merges) of write requests completed per second for the device.
rsec/s (rkB/s, rMB/s)
     The number of sectors (kilobytes, megabytes) read from the device per second.
wsec/s (wkB/s, wMB/s)
     The number of sectors (kilobytes, megabytes) written to the device per second.

These values give you exact idea about Disk IO.

  • What script are you referring to? – wjandrea May 21 '17 at 0:51

The new System Monitor in GNOME 3.26 can do that.

You can easily upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10 to get the new version.

  • I use ubuntu 17.10 and gnome-system-monitor 3.26 but no IO monitor. Why? – ConductedClever Nov 20 '17 at 5:05
  • @ConductedClever You might need to manually add them. Just right-click on any field title and tick Disk Write and Disk Read. – Tooniis Nov 20 '17 at 10:45
  • 1
    I may be wrong, but I think you're referring to per-process IO, not disk IO – Will Palmer Sep 30 '18 at 11:11

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