Linux and Unix Test Disk I/O Performance With dd Command How to test disk write speed and latency on linuxsystems

How can I use dd command on a Linux to test I/O performance of my hard disk drive?
How do I check the performance of a hard drive including the read and write speed on a Linux operating systems?

You can use the following commands on a Linux or Unix-like systems for simple I/O performance test:

dd command : It is used to monitor the writing performance of a disk device on a Linux and Unix-like system.
hdparm command : It is used to get/set hard disk parameters including test the reading and caching performance of a disk device on a Linux based system.
In this tutorial you will learn how to use the dd command to test disk I/O performance.

Use dd command to monitor the reading and writing performance of a disk device:

  1. Open a shell prompt (Or login to a remote server via ssh)
  2. Use the dd command to measure server throughput (write speed)
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/test1.img bs=1G count=1 oflag=dsync
  3. Use the dd command to measure server latency
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/test2.img bs=512 count=1000 oflag=dsync

The dd command is useful to find out simple sequential I/O performance.

Here’s some examples:

Disk I/O Performance With dd Command
Disk I/O Performance With dd Command
Disk I/O Performance With dd Command
Disk I/O Performance With dd Command

 

As you can see, writing 1 file (1 GigaByte dimension) can permit to test the maximum speed of writing bandwidth, instead, writing a small file many times, is better to simulate the actual daily behavior of a server (many small files, many times a day)

IMPORTANT! To keep your filesystem clean by useless files, remember to delete test1.img and test2.img at the end of test:

  1. cd /tmp/
  2. rm test1.img
  3. rm test2.img

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