Using the stress command to generate CPU load

I needed a reliable way to test a script I wrote to monitor server load. Luckily I found it in bash’s stress┬ácommand.

On most versions of Linux, you can install it with

yum install stress


apt-get install stress

depending on your distro.

I was on Centos 7.2, which of course doesn’t have the package in a repo (including EPEL), so I downloaded it from here

and did

yum localinstall stress-1.0.2-1.el7.rf.x86_64.rpm

Usage is straightforward, all I needed to do was generate 90 seconds of greater than 70% CPU usage on a one CPU cloud virt, so I did

stress --cpu 2 --timeout 90