Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

On one of CentOS server i found that load is around 10 , vmstat output says a large number of process are in blocking state. In top command output, cpu is almost 70% idel. What i conclude from my investigation that may be a large number of process saturated system . Now i decided to limit nproc by making entries in /etc/security/limits.conf

Am i on right track of troubleshooting ?

share|improve this question
This question is similar to…. – gsreynolds Jun 15 '11 at 11:15

What are you actually trying to achieve? I'd guess the issue is most likely due to large amounts of I/O. Either way, I'd be slow to jump on ulimits as the solution to your issue, unless you're absolutely certain that the issue is someone spawning large numbers of processes, that you don't mind being killed.

share|improve this answer
iostat output is normal, is their any other way ? – vnix27 Jun 15 '11 at 11:33
You still haven't answered what you're trying to achieve? Load is a very poor metric for performance of a modern server, and if there's no performance issues, I'd not be inclined to pay that massive an amount of intention to it. But, before you go limiting nproc, I'd definitely try and find out why you've got so many processes (if the issue is numbers of processes {and there's a decent chance you can do this just by eyeballing the output of ps}), and/or why they're blocking (this may require attaching an strace to some of them. – Cian Jun 15 '11 at 11:49
I found that load was high because of large number of operation on /tmp – vnix27 Jun 15 '11 at 13:45
thanks for input – vnix27 Jun 15 '11 at 13:45

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.