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I've spotted this trait recently on some of my Ubuntu servers (10.04.2) on Amazon EC2 (not noticed this on any physical boxes), and can't quite comprehend how it's getting these figures. They can't be real, because I'm sure computers haven't been around this long. Is this a trait of the nature of EC2/Xen?

ps aux;

root      2382 356012033  0.1 427264 11512 ?   Ss   20:56 17179869:11 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      2678 23695615  0.0 19224 1504 pts/0  S+   21:02 22212356:09 top


PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+    TIME COMMAND                                                                                                                     
2382 root      20   0  417m  11m 5464 S    0  0.1 54518724d      ? apache2                                                                                                                     
  37 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0 54518724d      ? xfslogd/0                                                                                                                   
 157 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0 54518724d      ? kjournald                                                                                                                   
 492 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0 54518724d      ? flush-8:1                                                                                                                   
1279 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0 54518724d      ? flush-8:96 


USER     TTY      FROM              LOGIN@   IDLE   JCPU   PCPU WHAT
user     pts/0    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. 20:23   32:23  16174544116days  0.03s sshd: user 

Any ideas?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unfortunately this is quite usual with EC2, VMs in cloud environments usually lose CPU cycles (since they can't control the hardware underneath of course) and this can drive the kernel a bit silly about tracking CPU time utilisation for processes, I've seen this happen before in instances I spawned, a bit annoying :/

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i assume this is also why top can display cpu %age in the thousands, i.e; 9999% cpu usage. – dannosaur Aug 26 '11 at 10:52

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