If you’re curious as to how your servers are performing, you should give the Phoronix Test Suite a run. Jack Wallen shows you how to install and use this suite of tests.

Image: iStockphoto/EvgeniyShkolenko

Do you know how well your Ubuntu Server instances are performing? Sure, they might be up and running, but do you really know the details of how well they can handle workloads? This is especially important before deploying an app or service that will place a high demand on a machine.

SEE: 40+ open source and Linux terms you need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

To that end, have you benchmarked your servers? If not, I will show you how you can do just that with the Phoronix Test Suite, one of the most comprehensive testing and benchmarking tools on the planet. This test suite can carry out quantitative and qualitative benchmarks so you can compare the results of your tests with others.

The Phoronix Test Suite can be installed on Linux, macOS, Windows, Solaris, GNU Hurd and BSD operating systems. I’ll demonstrate how to install and use the tool on Ubuntu Server 22.04.

Let’s get to testing.

What you’ll need

To install the Phoronix Test Suite, you’ll need a running instance of Ubuntu Server 22.04 and a user with sudo privileges. Are you ready for this? I thought as much.

How to install the Phoronix Test Suite

Log into your Ubuntu Server instance and download the Phoronix Test Suite .deb file with:

wget https://phoronix-test-suite.com/releases/repo/pts.debian/files/phoronix-test-suite_10.8.3_all.deb

Once the file has been downloaded, install the tool with:

sudo dpkg -i phoronix*.deb

The installation will error out because there are still dependencies to meet. You can fix that error and complete the installation with the single command:

sudo apt-get install -f

Once all of the dependencies are met, the installation will be complete. You can verify the installation with:

phoronix-test-suite

The above command should list out all of the help information for the command (of which there is plenty).

How to use the Phoronix Test Suite

First, let’s list the available tests with the command:

phoronix-test-suite list-available-tests

You can even list the tests by group like this:

phoronix-test-suite list-available-suites

Or, you can call up information about a specific test with the command:

phoronix-test-suite info TEST

Where TEST is the name of the test.

Let’s say we want to run the pts/server test, which runs 26 different unique tests (covering everything from Apache, Memcached, Redis, NGINX, PHP, PHP, OpenSSL, Node.js and much more. To run that test, you must first install the required test dependencies with the command:

phoronix-test-suite install pts/server

The above command will take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Once your terminal is returned to you, launch the test with:

phoronix-test-suite run pts/server

Running a command, as shown above, is done in interactive mode, where you will have to answer several questions. Instead of doing that every time, you can use the batch-mode feature. For this, you will first run the command:

phoronix-test-suite batch-setup

The above command will require you answer the following:

  • Save test results when in batch mode (Y/n): y
  • Open the web browser automatically when in batch mode (y/N): n
  • Auto upload the results to OpenBenchmarking.org (Y/n): y
  • Prompt for test identifier (Y/n):
  • Prompt for test description (Y/n):
  • Prompt for saved results file-name (Y/n):
  • Run all test options (Y/n):

Answer all of the questions and the answers will be saved in the ~/.phoronix-test-suite/user-config.xml file. After finishing the batch-setup, you can run an entire list of tests (that will also automatically download all the necessary dependencies and run the tests for you) with a command like this:

phoronix-test-suite batch-benchmark pts/server

Since you’ve already run the batch-setup, you won’t have to answer the questions during the benchmarking.

After the tests are complete, the information will be saved in the same directory from which you ran the command. Comb through the results to see how your server benchmarks fared.

And that’s all there is to benchmark your Ubuntu Server instances with the Phoronix Test Suite. There’s quite a lot more you can do with this tool, so make sure you take a look at the official documentation to see the many ways the Phoronix Test Suite can serve you.

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