stress is a simple tool that imposes a configurable amount of CPU, memory,I/O, and disk stress on POSIX-compliant operating systems. It is written in portable ANSI C, and uses the GNU Autotools to compile on most UNIX-like operating systems.
stress is not a benchmark. It is a tool used by system administrators to evaluate how well their systems will scale, by kernel programmers to evaluate perceived performance characteristics, and by systems programmers to expose the classes of bugs which only or more frequently manifest themselves when the system is under heavy load.
OpenSuSe 11.1 user can use "1-click" installer to install stress - here
Sample stress execution: A load average of four is imposed on the system by specifying two CPU-bound processes, one I/O-bound process, and one memory allocator process.
# stress --cpu 2 --io 1 --vm 1 --vm-bytes 128M --timeout 10s --verbose