Tag Archives: performance

spew: For testing purposes

I’m suddenly inundated with testing a half-dozen new laptops here, so I don’t have a lot of time for writing up posts.

I did have a moment this morning to check out spew, which I believe is in the Debian repos, in Fedora and in their derivatives, but surprisingly not in Arch.


spew is a tool for testing I/O performance and generating workloads for those tests. What you see above is spew’s text-based interface, writing out a quick 128Mb file and checking the read-write stats.

By default spew works mostly in a CLI-fashion, as opposed to the whole-screen approach you see above. We haven’t seen too many I/O tools for the console — not counting iotop, which was the first one I could think of offhand — so it’s probably a good idea to keep this one around.

The next time I get an ancient laptop and a wicked-slow hard drive, I’m going to hunt down spew and see what it can tell me. Next time. 😉

iperf: Internet performance, as luck would have it

iperf is new to me, and it appears there is an iperf3 in the works, so as usual, it appears I am late to the party.

iperf allows speed testing for network lines, which might be useful to you in some situations, like when your landlord is deliberately choking access. 👿

On an unrestricted line though, here’s what it looks like.


iperf is pretty easy to handle, but you’ll need to connect to a server that’s prepared for it. You can’t just aim iperf at Google and hope for a line speed measurement. (I know, I tried. 🙄 )

However, there are some public iperf servers out there that you can test your strength against. The one you see in that gif was on a list from the Wikipedia page. There are others there if eltel.net is inconvenient for you.

In-house, I imagine this would have more use, since it does offer some line quality options too.

Perhaps you can find out where that annoying whine comes from, when you transfer files between computers. Just kidding. 😉