Troubleshooting Disk Utilization

30 minutes
  • 3 Learning Objectives

About this Hands-on Lab

The ability to diagnose and resolve issues on a Linux system is a skill that every administrator needs to cultivate. In this lab, we cover using various reporting and monitoring utilities to troubleshoot issues with disk utilization on the system.

Learning Objectives

Successfully complete this lab by achieving the following learning objectives:

Install the Monitoring and Reporting Utilities (`sysstat`)

Install the sysstat package using the following commands:

sudo -i
yum install -y sysstat
Use the Monitoring and Reporting Utilities to Diagnose the Issue

This is a list of possible steps to take in order to find the source of the issue. All of these can be used, but they are not all required. Once located, the offending process should be copied to /home/cloud_user/.

vmstat 1 4
iostat -y 1 3
iostat -dy -p xvdg 1 3
lsof | grep “mount point or device major,minor number”
ps -ef | grep (PID of
pstree -p (PID of
cp /mnt/roshar/ /home/cloud_user/
Terminate the Offending Process

Once the PID of the offending process has been located (, use the kill command to terminate it.

kill -15 (PID of

Additional Resources

We work as a Linux administrator for a small company. The employees that work in the sales department have been complaining of sluggishness when attempting to use applications hosted by the back-end server that we are responsible for. So, we have been tasked with diagnosing the issue and ultimately resolving it. In order to do this, we will need to install the appropriate monitoring and reporting utilities on the host, use them to isolate the issue, and then terminate the process behind the problem.

Additional info:

  • All steps should be performed as the root user.
  • Use as many (or as few) tools as necessary to locate the issue.
  • Once discovered, the source of the issue should be copied to the /home/cloud_user directory.
  • The sigkill signal (9) should not be used with the kill command because of the potential to orphan child processes.

What are Hands-on Labs

Hands-on Labs are real environments created by industry experts to help you learn. These environments help you gain knowledge and experience, practice without compromising your system, test without risk, destroy without fear, and let you learn from your mistakes. Hands-on Labs: practice your skills before delivering in the real world.

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