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9.2. Starting the Hunt

After you decide to start optimizing something on Linux, you first have to decide what you are going to optimize. The method used in this chapter covers some of the more common performance problems and an example shows you how to use the previously presented tools together to solve a problem. The next series of sections helps guide you in your discovery of the cause of a performance problem. In many sections you are asked to run various performance tools and jump to different sections in this chapter based on the results. This helps to pinpoint the source of the problem.

As stated in previous chapters, it is a good idea to save the results of each test that you perform. This enables you to review the results later and even to send the results to someone else if the investigation is inconclusive.

Let's get started.

When investigating a problem, it is best to start with a system that has as little unrelated programs running as possible, so close or kill any unneeded applications or processes. A clean system helps eliminate the potentially confusing interference caused by any extraneous applications.

If you have a specific application or program that is not performing as it should, jump to Section 9.3. If no particular application is sluggish and, instead, the entire Linux system is not performing as it should, jump to Section 9.4.

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