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

Thorne Lawler thorin at trouble.net.au
Wed Jan 10 01:41:13 UTC 2007


Many thanks for your reply.

Steen Eugen Poulsen wrote:
> Thorne Lawler wrote:
>> Tasks: 362 total,   2 running, 360 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
> Thats an insane number of processes.your running around 300 processes 
> more than make sense for a fresh machine.
> Even my fully loaded multi service server is just hitting 130.

This is a multi-service machine itself, and not exactly brand new. It 
runs a web-server, an IMAP server, and postfix tricked out with a 
multitude of filters. I could see the number of processes getting large, 
but now that you point it out, I'm kicking myself for not just paging 
through a complete ps to see what was making up the numbers.

> Mem:    499648k total,   489568k used,    10080k free,    21220k buffers
> Swap:  1502068k total,       88k used,  1501980k free,   159440k cached
> 362 processes but not a matching memory load... You have some runaway 
> script that spawns itself over and over, perhaps they are all blocking 
> reading the same shared mutex (load without CPU usage).

Thanks. I will check this possibility out when I next see the load going 

Thorne Huw Lawler         trouble.net.au
"Croup and Vandermar, the Old Firm. Obstacles
obliterated, nuisances eradicated, bothersome
limbs removed and tutelary dentistry undertaken"

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