load average with multi-core CPU's

Damien Fleuriot ml at my.gd
Fri Sep 23 08:12:55 UTC 2011

On 9/22/11 10:59 PM, Rodrigo Gonzalez wrote:
> On 09/22/2011 04:29 PM, Mark Felder wrote:
>> On Thu, 22 Sep 2011 10:22:43 -0500, Henry M <henry95 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> Can someone explain, or point me to correct documentation on what the
>>> load
>>> average on top/uptime is actually displaying?
>> Load average is "average number of processes in the run queue" for the
>> 1, 5, and 15 minute intervals. If you have a quad core CPU a 4.00 load
>> average means you've been keeping the CPU busy at 100%.
> Not exactly as I understand it....IO (disk, network or whatever) affects
> it too...
> It is the number of task waiting in queue to be run....but IO is
> important...if 2 processes are waiting for IO and it is completely
> saturated they will be kept in queue so load will get higher
> I think there are other things that affect load average but are over my
> current knowledge...
> Regards
> Rodrigo Gonzalez

Actually, I could be wrong but that is the number of tasks both in the
waiting *AND* the running queue.

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