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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

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is a pretty good question why 'not a real question' ? – Marin Mar 1 '13 at 20:50
For as start this question is too imprecise, @Marin. OP should mention: a) OS/distro (UNIX or Linux? Which flavour?) and web server used, b) what is the server serving and how is it configured - static/dynamic content? HTTP/HTTPS?, c) what does "slow" mean to him - connection time? response time? full page load time? – Greg Dubicki Feb 3 at 9:03
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:

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


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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