performance under heavy load

Vlad marchenko at
Sat Mar 5 16:58:09 GMT 2005

> On a highly linux machine, you lose all control of the machine past a load of about 6 - 10.

to be fair, I should note that as admin / user of few tens of servers
running both systems, I can assure you that if your linux "loses
control" with LA ~ 10, then something is seriously wrong with that
server and it's not because of the linux (rather it's hardware or
wrong kernel configuration). I had cases of LA climbing over 150 on
linux machine - it was extremely slow but I could get it back to life
w/o need for reboot.

On Sat, 5 Mar 2005 16:28:09 +0000, Phil Brennan <phil.brennan at> wrote:
> Hi, I'd just like to give some credit to the freebsd developers for a
> job well done.
> A user on our system ( freebsd 5.2.1 smp )  managed with a runaway
> script to start up 500 intensive processes, raising the load average
> to about 200.
> We managed to remotely, over ssh get a somewhat responsive session and
> kill the offending processes. Yes, I know we shouldn't have let it
> happen in the first place, by putting in proper user limits and all
> that, but it was amazing that the machine still worked. We thought
> we'd have to reboot. Even with a load of nearly 200, the machine was
> still able to serve web pages :)
> Once the load came down past 60, the system feltl fully responsive again.
> On linux, we would have had to reboot in this situation. On a highly
> linux machine, you lose all control of the machine past a load of
> about 6 - 10. This just further vindicates my decision to use freebsd
> for this service. ( Its a shell server with about 100 active users,
> apache, nfs, mysql, ldap ). Just wanted to share a success story :)
> Regards,
> Philip Brennan
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