I'm a newbie to linux and working with the shell. I just don't understand what the load average of top really means. What is the meaning ot those three different values top delivers with load average? And more important, what load values are okay? Most of the time the load on my server is like 0,85, what does that mean? Hope someone can explain that to me.
asked 17 May '11, 15:05
The system load measures the amount of work your system performs. On *x Systems you usually get the 3 numbers representing the average load during the last 1, 5 and 15 minutes. You can also query the current values from the shell with many tools including uptime, w and top. On Linux Systems you can also read /proc/loadavg. The Value itself starts with 0 for an idle computer. Each process using or waiting for CPU increments the load number by 1. Depending on the number of CPUs you can estimate the system usage in percent. With one CPU a load average of 1 means 100% CPU "usage" and a load average of 1.86 means the CPU is overloaded by 86 percent. Just divide by the number of CPUs available to get your percentage. The Load shouldnt exceed the number of CPU's in your system.
answered 17 May '11, 17:50