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

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState