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Old 04-20-2010, 08:34 AM   #1
brittonv
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CPU Load average higher than Percentage?


Greetings,

I don't know what is going on with one of my servers.

It is sitting with a load average of 10.09 10.08 10.02

However If I look at top I see the server between 95% and 99% idle!

Is it possible that my server is running some hidden processes or something?

Please tell me how I can investigate the cause of this.
 
Old 04-20-2010, 09:51 AM   #2
AlucardZero
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Can you post the output of "w" "free" and the top few lines of top?
 
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:07 AM   #3
brittonv
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Sure, thanks for the help!

#####-03:~ # w
12:03:56 up 233 days, 12:42, 3 users, load average: 11.00, 11.01, 11.00
USER TTY LOGIN@ IDLE JCPU PCPU WHAT
root pts/1 11:14 48:31 0.16s 0.03s db2
root pts/2 12:03 0.00s 0.03s 0.01s w
root :0 07Sep09 ?xdm? 32:54m 0.01s -:0
#####-03:~ # uptime
12:04pm up 233 days 12:42, 3 users, load average: 11.00, 11.01, 11.00
#####-03:~ # free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 2055984 1906568 149416 0 80760 870012
-/+ buffers/cache: 955796 1100188
Swap: 1028120 1024776 3344


#####-03:~ # top c
top - 12:06:16 up 233 days, 12:44, 3 users, load average: 11.03, 11.03, 11.00
Tasks: 394 total, 1 running, 393 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 0.3% us, 1.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 98.3% id, 0.0% wa, 0.0% hi, 0.3% si
Mem: 2055984k total, 1906824k used, 149160k free, 80744k buffers
Swap: 1028120k total, 1024776k used, 3344k free, 869756k cached

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
7398 root 15 0 24028 1292 972 S 0.3 0.1 133:45.01 /usr/lib/vmware-too
22712 db2user1 17 0 424m 23m 9280 S 0.3 1.2 2:53.09 db2stmm (DBNAME) 0
16006 root 16 0 4280 1428 828 R 0.3 0.1 0:00.18 top c
1 root 16 0 640 80 48 S 0.0 0.0 0:16.01 init [5]
2 root 34 19 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.43 [ksoftirqd/0]
 
Old 04-20-2010, 11:10 AM   #4
marozsas
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Hi !

"CPU Load average" is incorrect. Is just "Load average".
The load average is the sum of the run queue length and the number of jobs currently running on the CPU.

For instance, heavy IO can cause a long run queue, which will make the load numbers to increase.
You can also have a lot of small processes that don't eat CPU at all, but that can make the load numbers to get high too.

Of course you can have a hidden process of some sort but in this case, what is the point to make a process hidden in the process list that leave a clear trace on the system behaviour ?

I follow AlucardZero's suggestion about giving us more information before any conclusions. I just wanted to make clear the "load average" is not directly linked to cpu utilization.

I am not a performance analyst expert but I think "iostat" can give some useful information about IO in this machine. Please, add the output of it to this thread.

Last edited by marozsas; 04-20-2010 at 11:13 AM.
 
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:25 PM   #5
brittonv
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It took me a while to realize that even though I have free Memory available, my swap is near full.

Can I assume that a full swap would cause a heavier load on the server and be the cause of this parameter inching it's way up?

Thanks for the advise!
 
Old 04-20-2010, 12:43 PM   #6
AlucardZero
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Maybe. Run "vmstat 10", and wait a minutes or two. If there are numbers bigger than 0 in the "so" and "si" column, then you're swapping actively. If so, you need to either reduce your memory usage or add more RAM. Also - you can sort 'top' by %MEM to see what's using so much.
 
Old 04-20-2010, 12:50 PM   #7
brittonv
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si and so remains at 0, I haven't seen it move from there. However this server doesn't get access much.

Still is it normal to have you swap fill up like that. As I have notitced this the Load Average continues to rise, it is sitting at 16 % now.
 
Old 04-20-2010, 12:57 PM   #8
AlucardZero
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It's not normal, no.
 
Old 04-20-2010, 05:14 PM   #9
syg00
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In future use code tags when posting command output - if we can't easily read it you're less likely to get help.
Looks like a VMWare guest- any other relevant info we don't know about ?.

Load average in Linux is different to classic Unix in that it includes task in uninterruptible sleep - usually waiting for disk I/O but not always. Try this from a terminal to see if you have any such
Code:
top -b -n 1 | awk '{if (NR <=7) print; else if ($8 == "D") {print; count++} } END {print "Total status D: "count}'
 
Old 04-20-2010, 08:29 PM   #10
chrism01
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FYI, Load Avg is not a percentage; see post #4 eg http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9001
 
  


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