I had a problem in Windows 8 where my hard-drive activity was reaching 100% all the time and the system was very slow. Now I've switched to Ubuntu Gnome and want to check if this is still a problem on Ubuntu. Is there a way to check this?

I am not looking for how much space I have on my HDD! I know how to find CPU and RAM usage as well. I am looking to find out the disk activity of my drive. For example, using Windows Task Manager it reports the disk activity as 0.04%. This is what I am looking for:

Disk Activity on Windows

  • command df -h will show – 2707974 Mar 19 '14 at 12:38
  • also ls -s -h will display it – Olu Smith Mar 19 '14 at 14:22

You can try to use nmon — a command line program. Install it by running:

sudo apt-get install nmon

Then run it as nmon. You would get the following screen:

nmon mainscreen

Since you want to view disk activity, you need to press d to toggle the statistics for it. Upon pressing d, you would be presented with the following screen which shows your disk activity:

nmon disk activity

Press q to exit the program.

More information about this tool can be found at IBM developerWorks.

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I use System Load Indicator for a GUI solution. which is in the indicator-multiload package. It's available in the Universe repository for all currently supported versions of Ubuntu and can be installed either through the software center or via the CLI with sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload

It is a system load monitor capable of displaying graphs for CPU, IOwait, ram, cache, and swap space use, plus disk and network traffic. It puts a display on the top menu bar that looks like this. SLI

Right clicking on it provides a drop down menu with live info regarding the following: CPU, Mem, Net, Swap, Load, and Disk as seen below:

enter image description here

Configuration is accomplished via the Preferences option on the same menu The colors are adjustable as well as the monitor width and update interval. Here's an example:

enter image description here

For CLI solutions see: How to monitor disk activity?

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  • System Monitor Utility will give the exact results of your cpu and RAM usage.

  • Search for System Monitor in dash and run it.

    enter image description here


Run this command on terminal to install and run iotop which shows the disk usage,

sudo apt-get install iotop && sudo iotop
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  • 1
    Not looking for ram and cpu usage I know how to do this but it doesn't show you how much of the " hard-drive" is being used by Ubuntu – sam Mar 19 '14 at 13:19
  • On the system monitor, move to fiesystem tab. – Avinash Raj Mar 19 '14 at 13:20
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    again that shows how much of space in the hardrive. I am looking at how much the hardrive is being used at a given time depending on the load. this is an example in windows 8 nextofwindows.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/… it says "0.04%" is being used at that given time . – sam Mar 19 '14 at 13:32
  • Run this command on terminal, sudo apt-get install iotop && sudo iotop – Avinash Raj Mar 19 '14 at 13:53

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