What is Linux Average Load? and How to reduce it?

Marc van Leeuwen

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Can you explain what Linux average load is and how it's calculated? Additionally, what are some techniques for reducing load on a Linux system?

Thanks in advanced.
 

Hugo E.

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In Linux, average load refers to the average number of processes that are actively running or waiting to run over a specified period of time. The load average is represented by three numbers, usually separated by commas, in the output of the "uptime" or "top" commands. These numbers represent the average load over the past 1, 5, and 15 minutes, respectively.

A high load average may indicate that the system is overburdened and struggling to keep up with the demands placed on it. To reduce the load average, you can take the following steps:

Identify the source of the load: Use system monitoring tools such as "top" or "htop" to identify the processes that are consuming the most CPU resources. You can also check the system logs to identify any issues that may be contributing to the high load.

Limit system resources: You can limit the resources that specific processes can consume by setting limits using the "ulimit" command. For example, to limit the CPU time that a process can use to 50%, you can use the following command:

Code:
ulimit -t 50
Reduce system load: You can reduce the load on the system by stopping or killing processes that are consuming too many resources. To stop a process, you can use the "kill" command followed by the process ID (PID). For example, to stop a process with PID 1234, you can use the following command:

Code:
kill 1234
Optimize system configuration: You can optimize the system configuration to reduce the load on the system. This can include adjusting settings for kernel parameters, network settings, or application-specific settings.

In summary, high average load on a Linux system can indicate that the system is struggling to keep up with demands, but there are several steps that can be taken to reduce the load. These include identifying the source of the load, limiting resources for specific processes, stopping or killing processes, and optimizing system configuration.
 
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Marc van Leeuwen

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Marc van Leeuwen
Reduce system load: You can reduce the load on the system by stopping or killing processes that are consuming too many resources. To stop a process, you can use the "kill" command followed by the process ID (PID). For example, to stop a process with PID 1234, you can use the following command:

Kill 1234
I used this code but it just temporarily reduce for a while, seem it is not effective in reducing the system load in the long term. Maybe this is that some processes may automatically restart themselves after they are terminated, or may be restarted by the system itself.
 

Hugo E.

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Hugo E.
It's true that stopping or killing processes that are consuming too many resources may only provide temporary relief from system load issues. This is because some processes may automatically restart themselves after they are terminated or may be restarted by the system itself.

To address this issue, you may need to take additional steps to manage the processes on your system. One approach is to use a process monitoring tool that can help you identify processes that are consuming too many resources and provide recommendations for managing them.

Another approach is to adjust the system settings to limit the resources that are available to each process. For example, you can set limits on the amount of CPU or memory that a process can use, which can help to prevent it from consuming too many resources and causing system load issues.

In addition, it's important to regularly monitor your system performance and take steps to optimize it. This can include tasks like removing unnecessary software, disabling services that you don't need, and tuning your system settings to improve performance.

By taking a proactive approach to managing your system processes and optimizing your system performance, you can help to reduce system load and improve the overall stability and reliability of your system.
 
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