Load Average in Unix and Linux System


By using the W command we can see the load average of the system. My system load average is

My question is what exactly the load means.The output is showing which load average.

I can see my CPU Usage high in my server. But i have never seen this high load average on server.

Can any one please help me out on this.

I believe that the three figures are the same three as presented by time


But just doing
man w

will explain all

The load shown on the image is pretty low. In simple words, the load average displays the CPU utilization, the more detailed explanation will give you a head ache.

The load averages is for the past 1, 5, and 15 minutes.

You can use the top command to see which process are consuming more CPU. if you are not fan of top, the one liner below will show you the process with highest CPU usage:

ps -eo pcpu,pmem,rss,vsize,args | sort -k 1 -r | more


Thanks for your reply.Let me try the same command and i will check it


behind of load average is a complicated mathematical algorithm
see man page of “w” command