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when my mint laptop tries to connect wireless, i noticed the increase in load but I dont see a process in top.

How we can find these processes.

top - 16:01:09 up 11 days,  6:08,  2 users,  load average:  0.57, 0.43, 0.44
Tasks: 196 total,   1 running, 195 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  1.6%us,  1.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 97.2%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.2%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   2052404k total,  1679264k used,   373140k free,    32608k buffers
Swap:  3903752k total,   116444k used,  3787308k free,   866812k cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND            
25383 nerkn     20   0  186m  45m  12m S    2  2.3  61:56.61 exaile             
 1028 root      20   0  152m  75m  45m S    1  3.7 170:19.92 Xorg               
 1322 root      20   0 22712  760  612 S    0  0.0  12:58.71 cpufreqd           
 1664 nerkn     20   0 74240 8976 6168 S    0  0.4   0:14.91 nm-applet 

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migrated from serverfault.com May 6 '11 at 14:32

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1 Answer

What does the Cpu(s) line show? If you don't see a responsible process it probably shows an increase in wa. Is this right?

Also, leave this running while you try to connect and post it if you can: vmstat 1.

Do note the load average in Linux isn't actually directly related to CPU use in the obvious userspace meaning. It's actually linked to processes waiting in the run queue (processes that could run if the scheduler let them), and so tasks blocked due to I/O are counted in.

An idle computer has a load number of 0 and each process using or waiting for CPU (the ready queue or run queue) increments the load number by 1. Most UNIX systems count only processes in the running (on CPU) or runnable (waiting for CPU) states. However, Linux also includes processes in uninterruptible sleep states (usually waiting for disk activity), which can lead to markedly different results if many processes remain blocked in I/O due to a busy or stalled I/O system. This, for example, includes processes blocking due to an NFS server failure or to slow media (e.g., USB 1.x storage devices). Such circumstances can result in an elevated load average, which does not reflect an actual increase in CPU use (but still gives an idea on how long users have to wait).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_(computing)

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