** Update: I recently upgraded to Ubuntu 14.10 and compiz is now at 1% CPU.

Most of the compiz cycles consumed on my system are caused by "indicator-multiload". This has been a problem for me since, at least, 12.04. I am running Ubuntu 14.10 on an Asus laptop with the AMD/ATI chipset.

I have configured indicator-multiload to only update once every 2000 ms in order to keep CPU usage down to a sensible level.

Short of forking the code, are there any ways to mitigate this excessive CPU usage?

indicator-multiload is a must for me since I need to monitor CPU usage conveniently and I know of no alternative.

Current usage is 5-10%

  • 1
    Can you please define "sensible level" for CPU usage? With firefox open and a CPU that is well over 3 years old I get single digits at idle (steady state) 2 to 6% with indicator multi-load. Are you sure it's not compiz itself causing the problem? See: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity/+bug/803943
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 12:21
  • 1
    Possibly relevant: askubuntu.com/questions/310247/compiz-high-cpu?rq=1
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 23:05
  • 1
    Current usage is 5-10%. Ideally, I'd like to see less than a percent, but maybe I'm just naive. Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 1:56
  • 2
    Could definitely be a compiz issue. Thanks for the ptr Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 2:57
  • Usage doesn't seem high enough for this to be a compiz issue...
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 19:43

2 Answers 2


On my xubuntu I have "Task Manager", I had a quick look and it doesn't appear to call indicator-multiload, and it's never caused a problem for me. Maybe give that a whirl?

I assume you've also uninstalled, purged, and reinstalled indicator-multiload, just in case successive overlay upgrades are the reason behind it being strange?

Best of luck!

  • 1
    indicator-multiload is a seperate package that you can download from the software center or via apt-get. It places a mini monitor on the tool bar at the top of the page for easy monitoring of CPU, Memory, SWAP, etc....
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 23:01

I'm monitoring CPU, mem, net, swap, load and disk at 500 ms intervals and getting single digit usage 2%-6% on an Intel Dual core E6500. I consider this a minimal load and am unconcerned. changing to 2000 ms as you have results in usage between 1% -3% on this CPU. When determining whether usage is excessive one must consider the efficiency of the CPU in use and the necessity of the monitoring.

One way to reduce the usage without changing the code would be to simply uninstall it.

Another way would be to upgrade to a more efficient (faster) CPU.

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