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Is there a simple mysql command that can tell me how active our database is?

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I like mytop for this (I keep several instances running in a screen all the time), and innotop is very helpful if you're using innodb tables.

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I like mytop; it's a bit of a pain in the butt to use, but seems to work well enough for the simple stuff like this.

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$ mysqladmin status

That'll do for one-off measurements. If you want a more long-term view of mysql's load, I'd recommend checking out Munin. Out of the box, it comes configured with a mysql queries per second graph.

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Let's hope munin's graphs aren't based off the qps rate coming out of mysqladmin, because that isn't exactly a good short-term average. – womble Jan 9 '10 at 3:24
Heh, true. I'm sure it's looking at the "Questions" value and taking the delta between subsequent polls. – EEAA Jan 9 '10 at 3:30

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