I have a cron which is scheduled to record the system load using uptime for every five minutes.

At times the load average for 5 and 15 min cross 8 (max seen is 10). So is the system under heavy load? How do I calculate the system load on linux accurately and what load threshold the system can bear?

cpu info on machine (HT is not present)

cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep -c "processor" 
cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep -c "core"
cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep -c "physical"

The load is a measure for processor utilization You can think of it as how many processes are waiting for execution. You have 8 processors, so a load of 8 means your CPU is in 100% use with not waiting for execution.

  • I agree.I would be adding few more new processes on this server. My question is can i take the uptime output to determine the system load and look for alternatives to reduce the load?Also the load spike crosses 8 not so often – divya Nov 25 '14 at 9:22

It looks like very low load...

Anyway, at the time you think there is some load, you need to look forward what process(es) is(are) causing it, and why. You can use a tool like "top" for a first glance. It will show CPU use for top using processes. This utility has a lot of options (can - for example - show per CPU usage, per thread CPU usage which can help you analysis).

Then, depending on software architecture and adding hardware may be an option but maybe not the first one.

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