What do the load average numbers mean?

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Stigma
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 23:18    Post subject: What do the load average numbers mean? Reply with quote
Hey,

I can't for the life of me figure out what the load average numbers mean... Normally one would assume that 0,5 = 50% and 1,00 = 100% , atleast in my head.

The only problem with that is that the load average often goes above 1,00 when under heavy load, especially the 1-minute number (the first one right?).

So whats the deal? Which number represents 100% ? I can't find any documention on this at all.

I hope someone has an answer for me.
-Stigma
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Luniz2k1
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 04 Oct 2007
Posts: 1250
Location: Ohio USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:32    Post subject: Reply with quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_(computing)
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Xorlev
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 01 Aug 2008
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:47    Post subject: Reply with quote
Load averages don't represent CPU usage.

Load averages are exponentially damped averages which reflect the run queue of the processors. Or, the number of processes waiting for CPU time. On Linux, I believe it also includes blocking I/O.

For instance, my CentOS server has two processors. I can comfortably have load averages of 4 or 5 before I need to start worrying. In DD-WRTs case, getting to 1 is okay, but unless it's really heavy load, you might need to look into it.
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