How to Monitor System Resource Usage Over a Specified Time Using Atop

January 9, 2024 / General Discussion

This guide explains monitoring system resource usage using atop over a specified time. Atop command is a tool for monitoring system resources in Linux. Lots of information associated with the amount of load on the system’s assets at the process level is displayed. Mastery of this tool unveils limitless benefits.

Follow the steps-

Installation & Configuration-

  1. Log in to the Plesk server via SSH.
  2. Install the atop set-
  3. For distributions based on CentOS/RHEL-
    # yum install atop
  4. For distributions based on Debian/Ubuntu-
    # apt-get install atop
  5. Change the monitoring interval to 60 seconds (default is 600 sec)-
  6. For CentOS/RHEL-based distributions-
    # sed -i ‘s/600/60/’ /etc/sysconfig/atop
  7. For Debian/Ubuntu-based distributions-
    # sed -i ‘s/600/60/’ /etc/default/atop
  8. For Debian/Ubuntu-based distributions-
    # sed -i ‘s/600/60/’ /etc/default/atop
  9. Start atop service-
    # service atop restart

Note: In Debian/Ubuntu-based distributions, atop generates a cron task by default, ensuring automatic initiation of logging at midnight if it is not already running.


  1. Show the produced atop log files-
    # ls -l /var/log/atop/
  2. To check the collected data, execute-
    # atop -r /var/log/atop/atop_*****
    where atop_***** is a file name from step 1.
  3. Use hotkeys to transit between intervals-
    1. t – move forward
    2. Shift + t – move backwards
    3. r – reset all counters
  4. To deactivate atop, execute-
    # service atop the stop

    For Debian/Ubuntu-based distributions, remove the atop cron task-
    # rm -f /etc/cron.d/atop

This way, you can monitor system resource usage over a specified time using atop. Hope you grasped the article well and that you do not have any doubts. However, still, if you face any difficulty, contact our support staff at your earliest.

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