I have a Linux/Debian server running: postgresql, tomcat. Sometimes, I can't access server by ssh.

When I open ssh connection with my server, I can type in my log-in id(root) and password, but when I type in my password and press enter, there's no any response.

By 'sysinfo' function, I found that when server faces on this situation, there are about 1600 processes(this value is from sysinfo.procs), and load average is almost 300(in usual case, load average is between 0 and 1)

What I'm trying to is, listing TOP 5 process by number of thread it creates. However I cannot find easy method. There are some way I found.

  1. Log NLWP value of ps -efL, so I can know which process creates too many threads abnormally.
  2. When load average gets bigger and bigger, copy all of /procs/*/status file to log directory, and I can know which process have biggest value of 'Threads' later.

If there's any other suggestion, please let me know. It drives me crazy because this Linux server shouldn't fail service


1 Answer 1


Try this:

$ ps axo nlwp,pid,cmd | sort -rn | head -10

ps ax  - see every process
    o  - format
         nlwp: number of lightweight processes (threads) in the process
  • Thank you for your help! I'll try this command to find out which process makes trouble.
    – Wonjae Lee
    Jan 9, 2013 at 8:11

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