CPU Utilization on IBM x3755

Jeremy Chadwick koitsu at FreeBSD.org
Fri Aug 15 12:06:49 UTC 2008

On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 02:03:06AM -0700, Won De Erick wrote:
> > The utilities you're using are correct (ps and top), but I don't know
> > why you're using top -S since it's pretty apparent you don't know how to
> > read the output.  :-)
> > thanks for the lights.
> I may not be well verse in interpreting the output, but I am using top -S to make other system processes (like pager, swapper) visible.
> I just wondered why the command name should be idle : cpu0, etc. instead of giving a little bit more descriptive name (like what you said, kernel thread bla bla). With this, it would be more understandable. An ordinary user like me could mistakenly interpret it as an "actual" process. 

First and foremost, I'm not sure why you cross-posted this on 3 separate
lists (testing, performance, and hardware).  You probably should have
posted this on freebsd-questions, and if no response after a week or so,
again on freebsd-stable (although you're using FreeBSD 6.2).

It's generally shunned by the FreeBSD mailing list community to
cross-post to so many lists.  Just something to keep in mind for the

> > You shouldn't be using -S if you're just interested in actual processes
> > on the UNIX machine itself.
> Then what should I use? I am interested in getting the detailed info to justify the %CPU idles and utilization.

Of the entire machine?  You can see that in top's header:

last pid: 84636;  load averages:  0.47,  0.14,  0.04 up 79+01:15:18  04:46:01
75 processes:  2 running, 70 sleeping, 3 stopped
CPU: 28.6% user,  0.0% nice,  8.2% system,  0.0% interrupt, 63.3% idle
Mem: 207M Active, 2433M Inact, 212M Wired, 91M Cache, 112M Buf, 57M Free
Swap: 8192M Total, 228K Used, 8192M Free

Regarding why you're adding up all the individual process statistics: I
can imagine they would vary a slight bit, but I cannot explain a 7%
variance.  Someone with more knowledge will have to assist there.

| Jeremy Chadwick                                jdc at parodius.com |
| Parodius Networking                       http://www.parodius.com/ |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                  Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.              PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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