I have been asked numerous times what does “load average” means in top.
If you don’t know what top is and you have access to linux machine, go type top now and see what it shows.
load average: 2.05, 2.17, 1.93
Quick answer is:
First number (2.05) is 1 minute avg, second number (2.17) is 5 minute avg, third number (1.93) is 15 min avg.
Generally system admins look at these #’s to see how is their server is doing. But now you wonder, if this is the #’s you look at, why is there cpu %? Isn’t that computer load also? Ofcourse it is. BUT, meaning of cpu % shown in [ Cpu(s): 14.2% us, 1.7% sy, 0.0% ni, 80.7% id, 3.1% wa, 0.0% hi, 0.3% si, 0.0% st ] actually just means how much % of time was spent doing stuff on cpu.