UPDATE: I'm grateful to Chris Gibson for highlighting some great new features available in topas for AIX 7.1 and AIX 6.1 TL 6:
- freeze the screen using the spacebar (spacebar melts your screen again)
- page up and page down to view several pages of data.
The topas command is a very popular tool for checking performance of an AIX system. Another highly popular one is nmon (Nigel's monitor, so named because it was written by Nigel Griffiths, the man behind most of the excellent Power6 / Power7 and AIX6 Wiki Movies as well as countless other presentations which make AIX look easy).
Both nmon and topas give a general summary screen allowing you to drill down to sub screens. You're probably familiar with at least one of these tools, but there are a couple of features which may make your experience even better.
Tilde toggle nmon to topas to nmon
You may be a topas fan, but want to switch to nmon to view certain screens. Or you might like nmon but your topas-loving colleague is watching over your shoulder. From AIX 6.1 and beyond, the nmon and topas commands run from the same executable. If you're running topas you can press the tilde key:
and you're in the nmon screen. In the same way, nmon returns the complement: toggle to topas.
(In the days of green screens, we used to have a little computer game running on CTOS and we had a magic button like that - if the boss was wandering around, you hit the button and a spreadsheet screen would appear instantly - perfectly useless other than as a screen saver ... and maybe a job saver).Within topas you can press the following keys to see sub-screens:
- disks by pressing d
- c for processors (the "c" stands for CPU)
- f for file systems
- n for network and so on.
topas screen sorts
Here's a list of the hot disks using topas and then pressing D, or from the shell prompt topas -D :
In many of the topas subsections where you have a set of metrics you can use the arrow key to jump across to the next column heading. This automatically sorts the values by that field:
There is a lot of documentation on both tools, starting with the command documentation: topas and nmon. Both of these performance monitors provide invaluable views of how your system is tracking, and it's worth getting familiar with at least one of them.