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Old 05-28-2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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Top: meaning of some abbreviations in the summary area.

Kernel, Slackware 12.0
top: procps 3.2.7

Running top, I read, in the summary area,
root@darkstar:~# top
Cpu(s):  1.7%us,  0.3%sy,  0.0%ni, 97.7%id,  0.0%wa,  0.3%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st
I have inspected top's man page all through, looking for the meaning of us, sy, ..., st and I haven't been able to find it. Falling back to wikipedia, I found a link to the man page, but it was dated September 2002, same as my own man page. Then I went to procps' site> FAQ, with no better success.

In my system, top is contained in the procps-3.2.7-i486-2 package. So I looked into the package listing, but I couldn't find any info file (those files that are read by means of the info command). I could look under /usr/doc, in the corresponding subdirs but I know before hand such details will not be dealt with there.

I find it hard to believe that the abbreviations mentioned above are not explained anywhere. Could you give me a source for such information? Thanks.
Old 05-28-2011, 12:27 PM   #2
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These explain it:

Here are the explanations for each parameter:

us - User CPU time. The time the CPU has spent running users’ processes with default priorities
sy - System CPU time. The time the CPU has spent running the kernel and its processes
ni - Nice CPU time. The time the CPU has spent running users’ proccess that have been prioritized up using nice command
id - Time spent idle
wa - I/O wait. Amount of time the CPU has been waiting for I/O operations to complete
hi - Hardware IRQ. The amount of time the CPU has been servicing hardware interrupts
si - Software Interrupts. The amount of time the CPU has been servicing software interrupts
st - Steal Time. The amount of CPU ’stolen’ from this virtual machine by the hypervisor for other tasks (such as running another virtual machine) – a fairly recent addition to the top command, introduced with the increased virtualization focus in modern operating systems

Last edited by bsdunix; 05-28-2011 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Added explainations for the LQ archives
Old 05-28-2011, 12:49 PM   #3
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Thanks bsdunix. I will add the URLs of these two sites to my list of useful sites and, specially, copy the text beneath them to a file. I would like to know who is to blame for this omission in the man page. The GNU Project? Again, thanks for your kind reply.

Last edited by stf92; 05-28-2011 at 12:54 PM.


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