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4 Ways to Check Load Average in Linux

The load average is the average system load on a Linux server for a defined period of time. In other words, it is the CPU demand of a server that includes sum of the running and the waiting threads. In this article, we will share 4 ways to check the load average in Linux.

What Is Load average in Linux?

System load is a measure of the amount of work (meaning the number of currently active and queued processes) being performed by the CPU as a percentage of total capacity. Load averages that represent system activity over time, because they present a much more accurate picture of the state of our system, are a better way to represent this metric.

On Linux, load averages are (or try to be) “system load averages”, for the system as a whole, measuring the number of threads that are working and waiting to work (CPU, disk, uninterruptible locks). Put differently, it measures the number of threads that aren’t completely idle. Advantage: includes demand for different resources.

How to Check Load Average in Linux?

In general,we have 4 ways to check the load average on Linux.

  • cat /proc/loadavg
  • uptime
  • w
  • top

Check load average from /proc/loadavg in Linux

[email protected]:~]# cat /proc/loadavg
0.18 0.28 0.30 2/527 4237
[email protected]:~]#

Check load average with w command in Linux

[[email protected]:~]# w
09:07:09 up 8:18, 2 users, load average: 1.00, 1.00, 1.00
USER TTY FROM [email protected] IDLE JCPU PCPU WHAT
root tty1 – 00:52 10:52 0.13s 0.13s -bash
root pts/0 192.168.122.1 01:01 0.00s 0.34s 0.00s w
[[email protected]:~]#

Check load average with uptime command in Linux

[[email protected] ~]# uptime
09:08:57 up 8:20, 2 users, load average: 1.00, 1.00, 1.00
[[email protected] ~]#

Check load average with top command in Linux

[[email protected] ~]# top
top – 09:10:32 up 8:21, 2 users, load average: 1.00, 1.00, 1.00
Tasks: 93 total, 2 running, 91 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 0.3%us, 0.3%sy, 0.0%ni, 99.3%id, 0.0%wa, 0.0%hi, 0.0%si, 0.0%st
Mem: 1030908k total, 934772k used, 96136k free, 76852k buffers
Swap: 2064376k total, 0k used, 2064376k free, 711632k cached

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
2232 root 20 0 2672 1080 856 R 0.7 0.1 0:00.10 top
1377 nrpe 20 0 5972 1076 688 S 0.3 0.1 0:03.56 nrpe
1649 root 20 0 12476 3460 2708 S 0.3 0.3 0:03.28 sshd
1 root 20 0 2872 1372 1168 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.73 init
2 root 20 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kthreadd

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