What do "Load Average" Numbers in Terminal Mean?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by eXan, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #1
    Hey there. I usually run the "uptime" command in Terminal to check how many days my Mac has been on, but it also shows 3 strange numbers and I dont seem to understand them Those numbers are "load averages:" and currently they look like this:

    uptime
    22:25 up 1 day, 12:20, 2 users, load averages: 3.02 3.14 2.46

    Can somebody explain how these numbers work?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #2
    [Link to more details]
     
  3. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #3
    On Unix-like systems, the load is the number of processes waiting for CPU time at any given moment (the running process is counted too). The three numbers are weighted averages of the load over the past 1, 5 and 15 minutes.
     
  4. eXan thread starter macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
  5. Echo toxin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    #5
    From what I can gather, the load figures represent how much of a CPU is required. For instance, if your load is under 1.0, then your single CPU is handling the work well. If you are above 1.0 and don't have dual-core then you've got a bottleneck at that time. So on my Mac mini for example, a load less than 2.0 is fine.

    If your load is on 3+ and you only have a single-core, single-CPU then it is quite overloaded.
     

Share This Page