Need advice on measuring temporary storage space

Kevin O'Gorman kogorman at
Fri Nov 9 03:36:23 UTC 2012

I am working on optimizing a computation, and want to collect some
information on alternative algorithms.  I know how to do time, but in this
particular problem, temporary storage space is an issue, particularly with
respect to the sort(1) utility.  Is there some way to capture the
high-water-mark of temporary storage used by sort?

This runs in many cycles, each doing 2 sorts, and taking up to 2 hours per
cycle.  I can direct temporaries to some fast 2TB external drives if this

One idea is to take "df" output every minute or so and find the highest use
that way, but I'd prefer something more direct.

Kevin O'Gorman

programmer, n. an organism that transmutes caffeine into software.
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