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Stress Testing Linux System

In software testing, stress test refers to tests that put a greater emphasis on robustness, availability, and error handling under a heavy load, rather than on what would be considered correct behavior under normal circumstances. In particular, the goals of such tests may be to ensure the software doesn't crash in conditions of insufficient computational resources (such as memory or disk space), unusually high concurrency, or denial of service attacks.

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


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