Examining Load Average

Understanding work-load averages as opposed to CPU usage.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

load ave

DD's picture

I have been trying to figure out what those 3 numbers meant. Thanks for the article. How does hyperthreading play into the number of lanes? Is that additive or do I just count the total # of cores?

Thanks for the article

Anonymous's picture

It is really good article, till now following load avg values blindly.
This article given clear understanding.

Thank you for the article,

Andy23's picture

Thank you for the article, now i've understood the difference.
But what about hyperthreading?

VPS environment

Anonymous's picture

I'm curious, how does top report load average on a VPS? is it reporting on the VPS's average or the server machine's?

Just thought I put it out there.. thanks for any replies.

great article

Anonymous's picture

this certainly answered a lot of questions for me. great article. thanks!

How to get CPU load inf in terms of Percentage

Vikram's picture

CPU load average, we can get using many commands, but how to get this average value in terms of percentage

Is there any formula for it? searched in google couldnt get right information on how to get this percentile value


multi core procs

ubergoober's picture

So how does this apply to multi core cpu's?
If I have 4 quad core cpu's in my system then do I still only have 4 lanes on my highway? or do I have 16?


You have one lane per core in

Anonymous's picture

You have one lane per core in the system.
So a system with 4 CPUs, each with one core would be a 4-lane highway (as stated in the article) - or you can think of it as 4 single lane highways.
If you have a single quad-core then you have a 4-lane highway.

If you have 4 quad-core CPUs, then you have 4 4-land highways (or a single 16-lane highway).

Nice & useful article ! I'd

Anonymous's picture

Nice & useful article !

I'd like to mention here that the timeslices of each task are NOT 10 ms, but 100 ms as an average (nice val 0) & goes down to 10 ms (assuming HZ=100) for nice val -19.
This is ofcourse for the pre-CFS days, which is when I believe the article was written

Load Average

Deven Patankar's picture

Always had a confusion about load avg, thanks to your article it is clear now. Great Article

One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix