four ways to view linux load average and load explained

what is Load Average?

Load Average: the system load is a measure of the amount of work that a computer system is doing.

Load Average is the average load over a period of time (1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes).

How to view the Load Average?

Usually we can use the w command to view.

Of course, you can also use the uptime command or the top command.

Linux w command

➜  ~ w

Linux uptime command

➜  ~ uptime

Linux top command

➜ ~ top

Linux iostat command

➜  ~ iostat 
linux iostat syntax and iostat examples

What is the specific meaning of the above three figures?

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First 2.29: Indicates the average load for the last 1 minute
Second 3.24: Indicates the average load for the last 5 minute
Third 2.93: Indicates the average load for the last 15 minute

What does this set of numbers stand for?

When the CPU is completely idle, the average load is 0; when the CPU workload is saturated, the average load is 1.

Some interpretations:

  • If the averages are 0.0, then your system is idle.
  • If the 1 minute average is higher than the 5 or 15 minute averages, then load is increasing.
  • If the 1 minute average is lower than the 5 or 15 minute averages, then load is decreasing.
  • If they are higher than your CPU count, then you might have a performance problem (it depends).
  • If the averages of only 1 minute is greater than 1.0, 5 minutes and 15 minutes are less than 1.0, which indicates that it is only a temporary phenomenon and the problem is not serious.

More about Linux commands: Linux Commands Tutorial

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