Ubuntu – How to check hard disk performance

hard driveperformance

How to check the performance of a hard drive (Either via terminal or GUI). The write speed. The read speed. Cache size and speed. Random speed.

Best Answer

Terminal method

hdparm is a good place to start.

sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/sda

Timing cached reads:   12540 MB in  2.00 seconds = 6277.67 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 234 MB in  3.00 seconds =  77.98 MB/sec

sudo hdparm -v /dev/sda will give information as well.

dd will give you information on write speed.

If the drive doesn't have a file system (and only then), use of=/dev/sda.

Otherwise, mount it on /tmp and write then delete the test output file.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/output bs=8k count=10k; rm -f /tmp/output

10240+0 records in
10240+0 records out
83886080 bytes (84 MB) copied, 1.08009 s, 77.7 MB/s

Graphical method

  1. Go to System -> Administration -> Disk Utility.
    • Alternatively, launch the Gnome disk utility from the command line by running gnome-disks
  2. Select your hard disk at left pane.
  3. Now click “Benchmark – Measure Drive Performance” button in right pane.
  4. A new window with charts opens.You will find and two buttons. One is for “Start Read Only Benchmark” and another one is “Start Read/Write Benchmark”. When you click on anyone button it starts benchmarking of hard disk.


How to benchmark disk I/O


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