About vmstat (Virtual Memory Statistics)

The vmstat helps you to identify bottlenecks on your server. It displays real-time performance information about processes, memory, paging, disk I/O, and CPU usage.

Here’s sample output (Oracle Linux 5.6):

Descriptions of the columns:

r: The number of processes waiting for run time
b: The number of processes in uninterruptible sleep
swpd: Total virtual memory (swap) in use (KB)
free: Total idle memory (KB)
buff: Total memory used as buffers (KB)
cache: Total memory used as cache (KB)
si: Amount of memory swapped in from disk (KB/s).
so: Amount of memory swapped to disk (KB/s).
bi: Blocks received from a block device (blocks/s).
bo: Blocks sent to a block device (blocks/s).
in: The number of interrupts per second, including the clock.
cs: The number of context switches per second.
us: User-level code time as a percentage of total CPU time
sy: System-level code time as a percentage of total CPU time
id: Idle time as a percentage of total CPU time.
wa: Time spent waiting for IO.
st: Time stolen from a virtual machine.