How can this 'top' command output make sense? Load over 7 and total CPU use ~5%

Chris Rees utisoft at
Mon May 25 08:04:59 UTC 2009

2009/5/24 Wojciech Puchar <wojtek at>:
>>    From the glossary (p. 630) of _The_Design_and_Implementation_of_the
>> _FreeBSD_Operating_System_ by McKusick and Neville-Neil:
>>        load average  A measure of CPU load on the system.  The load
>> average
>>                in FreeBSD is an average of the number of processes ready
>> to
>>                run or waiting for short-term events such as disk I/O to
>>                complete, as sampled once per second over the previous one-
>>                minute interval of system operation.
> so this glossary should be fixed because it's nonsense.
> first - says that it's measure of CPU load
> then - "or waiting for short-term events such as disk I/O" - which is NOT
> measure of CPU load.

Er, what? Of course it is!


A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing in e-mail?

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