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What open sources tools do you recommend for stress-testing a Linux server?

Specifically, we're wanting to thrash the CPU, hard disk array and memory.

We have a 4-year-old IBM server that was freezing with it's Windows Server 2003 installation. We're wanting to verify that the issue is not hardware related by testing the major components under high load, with the view of re-purposing the hardware as a LAMP box.

One recommendation per response please.


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That page currently returns 404 Not Found. So I asked about how to install Stress,… – KajMagnus Nov 8 '13 at 10:18

To test individual components, I use memtest86+ for memory (burn ISO and boot from that for best results), iozone for disk benchmarking, and a prime number finder for CPU. As mentioned above, stress also rocks as an all-in-one utility.

Here's a great list of other utilities to try.


Might not be the tools for you if you are going to hit the hardware or OS level, but if you are going to stress through an web application there are quite a few alternatives.

Not open source, but Microsoft has a free (not GNU free) web stress tool if you are going to stress test an web application.

When it comes to open source tools, there is quite a few depending on your needs. The project I work in have used TestMaker. It is quite good, but the UI is a bit confusing. A more developer centric tool that I have used in the past is JMeter.

There is a fairly updated list of performance testing tools on this page.


It was mentioned above. Some calculation number cruncher like the mersenne prime number search, the climate prediction project or even running a raytracer like povray would make a good test for the CPU. At the same time you get some nice performance figures for the machine which can be compared over time with other machines you run the same program on. By doing this you build up your own benchmark data.


If you want to test throughput on slightly more realistic disk loads, the samba project has developed a tool called dbench to simulate a number of clients moving small amounts of data.


You would be better off stress testing services instead of the machine itself.

For Apache testing ab is an incredible tool.


Linux Stress Testing and Benchmarking

Please add a bit of comment/summary.The link alone is of little use, and might break any time. – vonbrand Apr 10 '13 at 13:30

For the hard drives, might the standard Linux "badblocks" command be what you want?

If you have a new question, please ask it by clicking the Ask Question button. Include a link to this question if it helps provide context. – slm Aug 5 '13 at 19:06

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