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After doing a reboot of Ubuntu server 12.04 LTS (after an apt-get dist-upgrade) my server load (on a 16GB) machine goes insane (around 80) for about 10 or 15 minutes

The only things I can think of is the second mysql process:

$ ps aux | sort -k6 -rn  | head -30
mysql     1004 18.0  3.5 4230596 572500 ?      Ssl  15:02   3:33 /usr/sbin/mysqld
www-data  2616  0.4  0.2 360840 42784 ?        S    15:14   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
... [10 ditto of the above]
www-data  2981  1.2  0.2 354968 39324 ?        S    15:21   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      1363  0.0  0.2 136628 38716 ?        S    15:02   0:00 /usr/bin/mysql --defaults-file=/etc/mysql/debian.cnf --skip-column-names --batch -e ?      select concat('select count(*) into @discard from `',?                    TABLE_SCHEMA, '`.`', TABLE_NAME, '`') ?      from information_schema.TABLES where ENGINE='MyISAM'
postgrey  1075  0.0  0.0  66756 14180 ?        Ss   15:02   0:00 /usr/sbin/postgrey --pidfile=/var/run/postgrey.pid --daemonize --inet=10023 
joecool      1581  0.0  0.0  28072  9064 pts/0    Ss   15:03   0:00 -bash
joecool      2991  0.0  0.0  28072  7728 pts/0    R+   15:22   0:00 -bash

with Top showing

PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
1004 mysql     20   0 3864m 299m 8092 S   10  1.9   1:41.28 mysqld                                                                                            
2433 www-data  20   0  346m  38m 3504 S    3  0.2   0:00.17 apache2                                                                                           
2551 www-data  20   0  328m  19m 3412 S    1  0.1   0:00.05 apache2                                                                                           
2417 www-data  20   0  338m  29m 3792 S    1  0.2   0:00.11 apache2                                                                                           
35 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.85 kswapd0                                                                                           
77 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:01.21 kworker/0:2                                                                                       
2448 www-data  20   0  324m  16m 3484 S    0  0.1   0:00.08 apache2                                                                                           
2537 www-data  20   0  327m  18m 3476 S    0  0.1   0:00.06 apache2                                                                                           
1 root      20   0 24340 2348 1356 S    0  0.0   0:00.82 init

Is this normal?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It is hard to be specific with the information you provided. Are there any other processes running? I suggest using tools such as top or htop to see which processes are burning CPU cycles to make the load that high. Once you can clearly identify which are the definite offending processes we can then suggest ways to see if this is a problem or if it is expected.

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I've added the top and ps aux outputs. –  Gazzer Nov 23 '12 at 7:00
1  
A high load average but a relatively low CPU loading may just indicate that during startup apache2 or your database engine have many concurrent threads running but maybe that's OK. It is hard to tell from what your system is doing. I was suggesting running top as this may identify any rogue processes that may be spawning off too many child processes or threads. One other tool I uses is "vmstat". Run this as "vmstat 1" and you will see how busy your system is in terms of CPU loading and I/O activity. Maybe from this you can tell if your system is heavily stressed or not. –  Colin Ian King Nov 23 '12 at 22:29

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