Subject: Re: is load average reported correctly??
To: Jason Thorpe <>
From: None <Chris_G_Demetriou@NIAGARA.NECTAR.CS.CMU.EDU>
List: current-users
Date: 01/17/1996 20:03:49
> On Tue, 16 Jan 1996 08:50:00 -0600 
>  Chris Csanady <> wrote:
>  > hi, i was just wondering if the load avg is reported correctly in current.
>  > i am curious, because for some reason, my load avg is constantly at about
>  > .10 or so, whether i have 2 or 75 processes.  if this is so, does this not
>  > mean that the system is using 10% of my cpu time even when idle?  if so,
>  > why?  most systems that i have used are usually at 0.00 when idle..
> Actually, load average is now calculated _correctly_.  cgd would be best 
> to explain the bug and his fix.

I've actually explained it before, on current-users, i think...

Quick recap:

Correct instantaneous load average is:
	(number of runnable processes) +
	(number of processes that have been in uninterruptable wait
	    for less than a second).

The bug was that the second term was being calculated at a time when
it could never be non-zero...

your system _should_ have a load average of 0.00 when idle...  but
depending on system activity and the type of system, it may never be
_completely_ idle, and it may take a fair bit of "work" (that would
show up in the load average) to calculate the load average, esp. if
you're running something other than 'uptime' (e.g. 'w') to do it.