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Suppose I have a large number of processes and one (or more) is IO bound, obvious by a high wa value in top. How can I pinpoint which process it is? Each process shows how much cpu is being used, but how can I tell how much that process is causing the OS to wait due to IO?

2

sudo iotop gives you a nice, top-like overview of all disk io activty like this:

iotop of tar cjvf ...

To install, use sudo apt-get install iotop

1

$ pidstat -d 5

Should print processes and their disk activity every 5 seconds. Pidstat can be found in the sysstat package.

$ sudo apt-get install sysstat

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