Understanding Linux and UNIX Load Average – How It Works

by on February 22, 2007 · 3 comments· LAST UPDATED February 22, 2007

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Have you ever wondered how those three little numbers that appear in the UNIX w or uptime/top command load average (LA) report are calculated?

This is an excellent read if you would like learn more about how and how the load average (LA) can be reorganized to do better capacity planning.

The article concludes that:

These inherited limitations are significant if you try to use them for capacity planning purposes. I'll have more to say about all this in the next online column Load Average Part II: Not Your Average Average.

Oh, I can't wait to read second part...

UNIX® Load Average Part 1: How It Works ( via Adminspotting.net)

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 encina August 24, 2011 at 3:38 am

Thanks in advance


2 someswararao September 12, 2012 at 6:20 am

can any one tell me what is the use of load average ?
how it is calculated ?


3 Piyush Dangodra February 12, 2014 at 12:22 am

Load average is the amount of processing the CPU is undergoing at any particular time – run the command below
$ cat /proc/loadavg
4.27 3.90 7.22 2/792 7028

the 1st tree sets of numbers are the load averageon the cpu measured over 1, 5 and 15 minutes.


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