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I used the command 'top' to show running processes, and I noticed the first and second line look like this:

top - 00:30:31 up  5:41,  3 users, load average: 0.14, 0.16, 0.27
top - 00:31:25 up  5:42,  3 users,  load average: 0.38, 0.20, 0.28

When I first noticed it, it said 4 users. My question is what does it mean by "3 users" or "4" users?

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2 Answers 2

How many users are currently logged on.

First off that top line is 'load adverage' you can enable and disable/hide it by pressing 'l' which toggles the line on and off

$ top
l

also:

$ uptime

Next: and to the point of your question, it is the number of active terminal's on the system. Run the 'who' command and view its output.

$ who

If you

$ man uptime

it tells you that 'users' is how many users are currently logged on.

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That means the number of active users in the system. You can use the command w to see those users.

e.g: (Only first line of top output shown)

saji@sajilap:~$ top
top - 11:54:23 up  2:17,  2 users,  load average: 1.53, 1.67, 1.70

saji@sajilap:~$ w
11:51:32 up  2:14,  2 users,  load average: 1.71, 1.61, 1.68
USER     TTY      FROM              LOGIN@   IDLE   JCPU   PCPU WHAT
saji     tty7                      09:38    2:19m  4:42   0.29s gnome-session --session=ubuntu
saji     pts/2    :0.0             11:45    0.00s  0.24s  0.00s w

Courtesy: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=243440

As for the 3 or 4 users shown, it might be because you have 2 or 3 terminals open respectively.

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