100-200 load average on an idle system: Help!

James Gray james at gray.net.au
Tue Jan 9 07:16:20 UTC 2007

On Tuesday 09 January 2007 11:58, Thorne Lawler wrote:
> Hi folks,
> My Ubuntu Dapper (6.06.1) box is consistently showing a load average of
> 100+ while completely idle, not swapping, and not particularly using its
> disks:
> (from top)
> top - 11:47:24 up 19:19,  1 user,  load average: 127.30, 126.59, 124.14
> Tasks: 362 total,   2 running, 360 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
> Cpu(s):  1.0% us,  0.2% sy,  0.0% ni, 98.5% id,  0.3% wa,  0.0% hi,  0.0%
> si Mem:    499648k total,   489568k used,    10080k free,    21220k buffers
> Swap:  1502068k total,       88k used,  1501980k free,   159440k cached

Snipped :)

All very interesting but not particularly useful :(  You're showing us the top 
output which says there are approx 127 processes in the run queue but only 2 
are currently running.  That leads me to think you have something that is 
waiting for I/O of some sort.

I see these sort of incredible load figures with zero CPU usage when something 
starts spawning threads/children and waiting for network I/O (like DNS 
lookups etc).  While the threads/children are waiting, they aren't chewing 
CPU time, but ARE in the run queue.

You can see the hierarchy of what is spawning what with "ps axjf".  You should 
end up seeing pretty clearly if there is a single process spawing like a 
daemon ;) (pun intended!)


There is a natural hootchy-kootchy to a goldfish.
		-- Walt Disney
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: smime.p7s
Type: application/pkcs7-signature
Size: 1349 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-users/attachments/20070109/3ae9ee2b/attachment.bin>

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list