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A server is described as being "really slow".

What are the first couple of things you would check?

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closed as not a real question by slhck, Diogo, 8088, Journeyman Geek, Randolph West Jul 19 '12 at 4:27

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This is a pretty good question why 'not a real question' ? –  Marin Mar 1 '13 at 20:50
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First thing to check? Your pager / other alarm system and graphs, of course! :-)

But if you don't have those available, you logon to server.

Most of the time if a server is really slow, it's because something is eating up the available memory and the server is swapping itself towards a slow death.

So, in case of a slowdown:

uptime
free
ps -eo size,command,pid | sort -nr | head -n 20
pkill -f name(s)_of_the_offending_process(es)
pkill -12 -f name(s)_of_offending_process(es) if the previous command didn't work
pkill -9 -f name(s)_of_offending_process(es) if the previous command didn't work

Or just

top

but with a very loaded server even running top might take ages.

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uptime command, to get the load averages. - then top command to see which processes are using the most resources (shift-M to list by memory, shift-P to list by cpu). then kill these if needed (kill -9 ),

then 'free' - to see memory usage, although its on the top command

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