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Linux vmstat command

April 4, 2019 by kiranbadi1991 | Filed under Database, Development, Environment, Memory, Performance Engineering, Process, Web Server.

I have been spending  bit of my time on EC2 Amazon linux. So thought of just making a note of some of the commands I frequently use.

It helps me to look directly at my site for information on this command rather than googling and spending time for the information in the internet for this command.(All I need is what each column stands for)

vmstat gives information about processes, memory, paging, block I/O, traps, and CPU activity. It displays either average data or actual samples. The sampling mode can be enabled by providing vmstat with a sampling frequency and a sampling duration.


The columns in the output are as follows:

Process (procs)  r: The number of processes waiting for runtime

                             b: The number of processes in uninterruptable sleep

Memory      swpd: The amount of virtual memory used (KB)

                     free: The amount of idle memory (KB)

                     buff: The amount of memory used as buffers (KB)

                     cache: The amount of memory used as cache (KB)

Swap                   si: Amount of memory swapped from the disk (KBps)

                            so: Amount of memory swapped to the disk (KBps)

IO                         bi: Blocks sent to a block device (blocks/s)

                             bo: Blocks received from a block device (blocks/s)

System                in: The number of interrupts per second, including the clock

                             cs: The number of context switches per second

CPU (% of total CPU time)

                            us: Time spent running non-kernel code (user time, including nice time).
                             sy: Time spent running kernel code (system time).
                             id: Time spent idle. Prior to Linux 2.5.41, this included I/O-wait time.
                            wa: Time spent waiting for IO.

Some additional flags for vmstat are

-m   -  displays the memory utilization of the kernel (slabs)
-a    – provides information about active and inactive memory pages
-n   – displays only one header line, useful if running vmstat in sampling mode and piping the output to a file. (eg.root#vmstat –n 2 10 generates vmstat 10 times with a sampling rate of two seconds.)
          When used with the –p {partition} flag, vmstat also provides I/O statistics

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