sudden peak in load average

Mark Tinguely tinguely at
Wed Feb 27 13:47:07 UTC 2008

>  >From the MRTG data I can see that suddenly on a currently not very
>  busy machine the load averege went over 15 or more. This happened
>  around 10 in the morning. Not many entries in httpd access log, smtp
>  server was not too much loaded (at that time it generally produces a
>  load average of about 1).

By any chance, do you run SpamAssassin? I have seen load average bursts with
SA. It seems to me that spam sites are bursting spam to attempt to bring
down the anti-spam filters.

As mentioned by others a "ps" (or I prefer "pstree") list will help
solve the issue.

--Mark Tinguely

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