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Our MySQL always ends up in this state at some point... SHOW PROCESSLIST shows nothing in the queue, so why does this say it's been running for 193 hours?

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND                                                                                                                                           
 2785 mysql     20   0  133m  45m 5808 S    6  0.3 193:58.50 mysqld 
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You've misinterpreted the TIME+ field. That is not how long it's been "running for", that is a figure of used CPU time. Check out this Wikipedia article for specifics:

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Also, that is the MySQL daemon that has used up a total of 194 hours of CPU time for all the work it has done, rather than a single query execution time, which is what the title of the question seems to imply! – Dave Rix Oct 25 '11 at 10:13

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