Load 2.0, idle 99% ?

Markus Hitter mah at jump-ing.de
Mon Feb 1 18:47:13 UTC 2010

Hello all,

if this is the wrong list, please direct me to a better one.

I just came back to my Ubuntu 9.10 box after having left for an hour  
or two. The screen is black and neither mouse nor keyboard can wake  
the display up. Switching concole doesn't work, either. I can ssh in  
from another machine, so the lower layers are apparently running.

Doing so I noticed something odd. "top" reports an average load of  
2.0 (it's a dual core), while reporting idle 99,8% at the same time:

top - 19:27:34 up  9:29,  3 users,  load average: 2.01, 1.99, 1.91
Tasks: 155 total,   2 running, 153 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  0.2%us,  0.2%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.7%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0% 
si,  0.0%st
Mem:   3081432k total,  1342344k used,  1739088k free,   146764k buffers
Swap:  5245180k total,        0k used,  5245180k free,   562632k cached

All processes show up near 0% as well.

How can a cpu be loaded and idle at the same time? What should I  
watch out for to track down the bug (of at least the display being  


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Dipl. Ing. Markus Hitter

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