Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If you wanted to track down performance issues on a machine running Mac OS X and find out what was causing slowdowns, which command-line or graphical tools would you use, and how would you use them?

I'm interested in advice on the best tools, and explanations of how to use them - when a machine slows down or freezes up, I'd like to be able to dig down and understand what's going on, memory / disk / CPU-wise.

Thanks.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

Found this great resource recently which details some more advanced dtrace-based commands which can be used to track down OS X performance issues; may be of use to people stumbling upon this question:

http://dtrace.org/blogs/brendan/2011/10/10/top-10-dtrace-scripts-for-mac-os-x/

share|improve this answer
add comment

I would begin with top (to see the process list at work). Take into account cpu usage / per process and memory usage. Followed by fs_usage (lets you monitor file system activity).

If your finding something using the disk often or using too much cpu your heading in the right direction. Also try vmstat 3; good for overall comparison of cpu, memory, disk (vmstat may be renamed vm_stat in newer versions of OSX).

Turn off every service you done need, is another good starting point. I would suggest you read man pages/howto's on these tools (there is too much to explain).

There is also the OSX activity monitor in applications/utilities which is much easier to read, but not so detailed as the utilities mentioned above.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.