I have a Fedora server hosted remotely and for the last couple of days simple processes seem to be causing the server to slow down incredibly. I am starting to feel that the RAM or the HD might have some problems. What free software can I use to test these?


A slowdown can't result from bad RAM. Nothing to test here in your case.
However, you can use "memtester" for a good starting point, without the need to be physicaly next to your server with a live-CD.

If you have a faulty disk, your kernel log will show it. Just issue a "dmesg", or dig into /var/log/
If you see nothing there, your disk is okay. But you can be 99.99% sure by reading the disk:

time dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/null bs=10M

On another terminal, ask for informations every 5 minutes:

watch --interval=150 killall dd -USR1

This will:
- give you the average read speed
- read the entire disk, so any uncorrectable read error will be shown

You can be even more sure by creating a big file from random datas, and check its checksum. It must be the same as the one from the datas.
But once again, this is not your disk, so move on the next tools: htop, interrupts rate, etc.


If you have disks that support SMART:

  1. check if you have SMART (suggesting sdb is your drive)
  2. enable SMART
  3. run a health test

    smartctl -i /dev/sdb

    smartctl -s on -d ata /dev/sdb

    smartctl -d ata -H /dev/sdb

Check the manpages for -d as it might be different if you use a raidcontroller. Smartctl can be found in the smartmontools package.

If you want to check your RAM you should boot from a livedisk and perform a memory check. On ubuntu live disk it is one of booting options.

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