When it comes to computers, system stability testing is a way of measuring the “health” of your PC. Individuals like computer technicians usually perform this. And you shouldn’t run these tests frequently as it involves putting heavy loads on your hardware and can do some damage.
But as said, on some occasions, it can be quite useful for locating faulty hardware. Under platforms like Windows, we have a lot of both free and paid utilities but in GNU/Linux there aren’t that many around.
In that case, as a GNU/Linux user, if you’re searching for a CPU-based system stability tester and a benchmark tool (originally developed for CPU “over-clockers!”), then you should try “systester”. This open-source tool also supports Windows and Mac OS X too. It can be used to do some stress tests on your Linux system to check and evaluate your CPU (CPU cores)
But as mentioned in the title, this is a simple utility that puts stress on your CPU mostly (including RAM, too) and you cannot use it to test other hardware such as hard disk drives, etc. So please remember that.
Main features of systester
- Stresses your CPU by using Pi (“π”) based calculations up to 128 million bits (you can also manually load a “Pi” file too).
- Supports up to 32 threads.
- Runs up to 50 times.
- Compare the results.
- It gives you warnings if anything goes wrong (useful for isolating hardware-related issues) and hashchecking.
- Supports both “Borwein” (an algorithm that calculates the value of “1/π”) and “Gauss-Leg” algorithms.
- Shows some of your hardware details such as: CPU type, manufacture, OS and installed RAM etc.
- Save output to a log file (disabled by default).
- Manually “Stop” the benchmarking process is some of its main features.
You can install “systester” in most of the Ubuntu versions (as long as you have Qt 4.4 or never) by first downloading the zipped file from this “systester” home page (it includes packages for other OS platforms too).
For Ubuntu and other GNU/Linux Users
If the download section confuses you, under “Linux i686/x86 binaries” just look for a package called “Generic Build” simply click on it to download.
Then simply extract the content to somewhere (say to your desktop for instance). Then go into that folder and locate a file called “systester” and simply double click on it and it should open up the program window!.
This is the best thing about “systester”. You don’t have to install, just extract the content and you’re good to go.
Additional Tools to Benchmark and Stress Tests on Linux
Here are some of the latest tools designed to test and benchmark the Central Processing Unit (CPU) – the cornerstone of your device’s performance.
Sysbench is a multipurpose benchmarking utility originally developed by MySQL that can test CPU performance, disk I/O, mutexes, and memory functions. Sysbench is scriptable, which means you can create customized tests based on your unique requirements.
The CPU test in sysbench is particularly useful as it’s designed to measure the maximum CPU throughput (events per second). It gives enough details of the physical and virtual cores of a CPU. Sysbench can benchmark individual or multiple threads, making it a powerful tool for CPUs with a multi-core architecture. Being an open-source tool, it can be quickly installed on any Linux distribution.
HardInfo is a well-rounded system information and benchmark tool for Linux. It provides a user-friendly GUI that offers a wealth of system data and performance metrics, including CPU performance.
The benchmarking component of HardInfo comes with several CPU tests, including CPU Blowfish, CPU CryptoHash, CPU Fibonacci, CPU N-Queens, and more. The results are presented in an easy-to-understand graphical format, making it a popular choice among Linux users who prefer GUI over command-line interfaces.
Phoronix Test Suite
Regarded as the most comprehensive testing and benchmarking platform available for Linux, the Phoronix Test Suite stands apart with its staggering suite of over 450 test profiles and 100 test suites.
Phoronix provides an array of CPU benchmarks, including compression tests, encoding tests, cryptography tests, and rendering tests, to name a few. The suite is open source, and the results can be published on OpenBenchmarking.org, a collaborative platform for sharing and comparing performance data.
While traditional benchmarking tools focus on measuring peak performance, stress-ng aims to stress-test the system to identify any weaknesses or faults. It includes over 240 stress tests, several of which target the CPU.
Stress-ng allows you to stress various subsystems in parallel, making it highly effective in simulating a system under heavy load. CPU-specific tests include computation tests, control flow tests, and information theory tests.
Last but not least, we have Geekbench, a cross-platform benchmarking tool known for its easy-to-use interface and detailed reports. While it’s not free, it’s favored by professionals for its thorough CPU workload tests and standardized scoring system.
Geekbench conducts both single-core and multi-core tests, simulating real-world scenarios. The results provide a comprehensive view of your CPU’s performance, ideal for users seeking in-depth understanding and comparison of system performance.
Linux offers an extensive range of tools for CPU benchmarking and testing. From the comprehensive functionality of the Phoronix Test Suite to the intensive stress tests of stress-ng, there’s a tool for every requirement. Understanding these utilities can go a long way in helping you evaluate and optimize your system performance. It’s time to take your Linux machine to the next level.