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What's the difference between load average and CPU load?

enter image description hereLook at the image for what i am tying to ask . whats parameters of load averages and how we have to understand them ?

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marked as duplicate by Jorge Castro, jokerdino, Nitin Venkatesh, con-f-use, htorque Aug 21 '12 at 17:58

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The load average represents the number of processes waiting for their turn to use the CPU(s), in the last 1, 5 and 15 minutes.

In your case, assuming you have a single CPU (single core) system:

  • In the last minute, you had 0.54 processes waiting to use the CPU on average.
  • In the last five minutes, you had 0.49 processes waiting to use the CPU on average.
  • In the last fifteen minutes, on average, you could have had 0.02 more processes using the CPU before attaining the maximum capacity of the CPU.

So, in practice, a load equal to or greater than 1 on a single CPU system means that the CPU is at maximum capacity and that processes have to wait to use it. A load less than 1 means that the CPU could process extra tasks without having to queue processes.

If you have two CPUs (e.g.: dual core CPU), you could reach a load of 2 before the CPU is at its max; 4 on a quad CPU system, and so on.

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Load averages are the average of the %ge load of the cpu for the past 'x' minutes where s is 1,5,15.In your screenshot, it tells us that the avg load on your cpu is decreasing and the maximum is 1.54 %

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No, it's not a percentage. – Jeremy Kerr Jul 24 '12 at 3:10

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