System Cpu Between 50-70% and need to find out why

Kris Kennaway kris at
Sun Apr 22 22:41:58 UTC 2007

On Sun, Apr 22, 2007 at 06:14:38PM -0400, Paul wrote:
> Hello,
> My system is being killed by a system cpu always between 50-70% on 
> Freebsd 6.2 with SMP enabled. Does anyone know of a quick tool to be 
> able to tell me what is making up that 50-70% for the System Cup Usage.
> They system is a dual core dual intel xeon with a s5000pal setup and 
> on the amd64 6.2 stable smp enabled. They system sees all "4" cpus.
> I have a hunch that the memory drive is causing this. I set up a 
> memory drive to hold the amavisd-new temp files and set it to be 4gig 
> (the system has 16 gigs of ram)
> mdmfs -s 4096m -p 0750 -w vscan:vscan md /var/amavis
> /dev/md0       3.9G     12M    3.5G     0%    /var/amavis
> I wanted to see if I can confirm what part of the system is taking so 
> much cpu power but have struck out so far in trying to figure this 
> out. I need to use the memory drive to save the I/O on the scanning 
> of the email files. This was a suggested solution to remove bottlenecks.
> last pid:  5541;  load averages: 25.22, 21.62, 
> 19.24                                                     up 
> 0+13:54:07  18:13:40
> 348 processes: 19 running, 317 sleeping, 12 zombie
> CPU states: 23.7% user,  1.4% nice, 69.9% system,  5.0% interrupt,  0.0% 
> idle
> Mem: 1010M Active, 4940M Inact, 347M Wired, 4K Cache, 214M Buf, 9367M Free
> Swap: 8192M Total, 8192M Free
> Any tips and tools would be greatly appreciated on how to get a 
> handle on what is causing this problem.

Uh you had the right idea but forgot to paste the relevant bits ;-)

top *is* the tool for working out what processes are using your CPU.
Although your high load average suggests that your system is just
heavily loaded and it is expected that it will be using 100% CPU.


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