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How to Install “atop” to Monitor Logging Activity of Linux System Processes
As a Linux user, you know how important it is to monitor your system's logging activity. With the vast number of processes that run on your Linux system, it can be difficult to keep track of everything that's going on. Fortunately, there's a tool called "atop" that can help you monitor your system's logging activity. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of installing and using atop on your Linux system.
What is Atop?
Atop is a Linux performance monitoring tool that allows you to view real-time system and process-level performance statistics. It provides a comprehensive overview of the system's performance, including CPU usage, memory usage, disk I/O, and network activity. Atop can also be used to monitor the system's logging activity, making it an essential tool for system administrators and developers.
Before we can start using atop, we need to install it on our Linux system. The installation process varies depending on the distribution you're using. In this example, we'll be installing atop on Ubuntu.
Step 1: Update Your System
Before installing any new software on your Linux system, it's always a good idea to update your system's package repository. This ensures that you're installing the latest version of the software.
To update your system, open a terminal window and run the following command −
sudo apt-get update
This command will update your system's package repository.
Step 2: Install Atop
Once your system's package repository is up to date, you can install atop by running the following command −
sudo apt-get install atop
This command will install atop on your system.
Using Atop to Monitor Logging Activity
Now that atop is installed on your system, we can start using it to monitor the system's logging activity. To do this, we'll use atop's built-in logging feature.
Step 1: Start Atop
To start atop, open a terminal window and run the following command −
This command will start atop and display the system's performance statistics in real-time.
Step 2: Enable Logging
To enable logging, press the 'L' key. This will open atop's logging menu.
From the logging menu, you can configure the logging options, including the log file name and location, the logging interval, and the maximum log size.
Once you've configured the logging options, press the 'C' key to start logging.
Step 3: Monitor Logging Activity
With logging enabled, atop will start recording the system's logging activity to the specified log file. You can monitor the logging activity by pressing the 't' key to switch to the task view.
The task view displays a list of all the processes running on your system, along with their resource usage statistics. To view the logging activity for a specific process, select the process from the list and press the 'l' key.
The 'l' key will display the logging activity for the selected process. From here, you can view the process's standard output, standard error, and any other log files that the process has opened.
Advanced Usage of Atop
Atop provides more advanced features beyond monitoring logging activity. Here are some examples −
Displaying Processes Tree View
You can use atop to display the processes tree view by pressing 't' key and then pressing 'c'. This view shows the parent-child relationships between processes and can help in identifying the root cause of performance issues.
Monitoring Network Activity
Atop can also be used to monitor the network activity of your Linux system. To enable network monitoring, press 'n' key and then 'a'. This will display a real-time view of the network activity on your system.
Atop can be configured to suit your specific needs. You can configure atop by editing the /etc/atoprc file. This file contains all the configuration options for atop, including logging options, performance monitoring options, and more.
Atop can generate reports on your system's performance and logging activity. To generate a report, press 'r' key and select the report type. Atop supports various report types, including process-related reports, system-related reports, and network-related reports.
Atop comes with many hotkeys that allow you to quickly access its various features. To view the hotkeys, press the 'h' key.
Adjust the Sampling Interval
By default, atop samples the system's performance every 10 seconds. You can adjust the sampling interval by editing the /etc/default/atop file. Set the INTERVAL variable to the number of seconds you want the sampling interval to be.
View the System's CPU Temperature
Atop can display the system's CPU temperature. To enable this feature, edit the /etc/atoprc file and set the showcpu variable to 't'.
Atop allows you to filter the output to display only the information you're interested in. To use filters, press the 'f' key and enter the filter criteria.
Use Atop in Batch Mode
Atop can be run in batch mode to generate reports on the system's performance and logging activity. To run atop in batch mode, use the '-r' option followed by the name of the log file.
Use Atop with Systemd
Atop can be integrated with systemd to start and stop automatically on system boot. To enable this feature, create a systemd service file and add the necessary configurations.
Common Problems and solutions with Atop
While atop is a powerful tool for monitoring and troubleshooting Linux systems, it's not immune to problems. Here are some common issues that you might encounter while using atop, along with their solutions −
Atop Displays no Output
If atop is not displaying any output, check if it's running in daemon mode. In daemon mode, atop doesn't display any output on the terminal. To disable daemon mode, edit the /etc/default/atop file and set the DAEMON variable to '0'.
Atop Logs are too Large
Atop logs can quickly become large and consume disk space. To limit the size of atop logs, edit the /etc/atoprc file and set the MAXSIZE variable to the maximum log size you want.
Atop Logs are not Being Generated
If atop logs are not being generated, check if logging is enabled. To enable logging, press the 'L' key and configure the logging options. Also, make sure that the atop service is running.
Atop Reports are Not Being Generated
If atop reports are not being generated, check if the report type is supported. Atop supports various report types, including process-related reports, system-related reports, and network-related reports. Also, make sure that the report is being generated for the correct time range.
Atop is Causing High CPU Usage
If atop is causing high CPU usage, adjust the sampling interval. By default, atop samples the system's performance every 10 seconds. Adjusting the sampling interval can reduce the CPU usage.
Atop is an essential tool for monitoring the performance and logging activity of your Linux system. With its real-time performance monitoring and built-in logging feature, atop provides a comprehensive view of your system's performance and logging activity. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can install and use atop to monitor your Linux system's logging activity.
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