You can use one of those three commands. Read the
info pages for more information.
uptime - Tell how long the system has been running.
w - Show who is logged on and what they are doing.
top - display Linux processes
All three commands show you the
load average information.
top is probably the best choice as it displays information about CPU usage, memory usage, priority, etc.
I cite from a reference of a course:
Load average is the average of the load number for a given period of
time. It takes into account processes that are:
- Actively running on a CPU.
- Considered runnable, but waiting for a CPU to become available.
- Sleeping: i.e., waiting for some kind of resource (typically, I/O) to become available.
I cite further about interpreting load average:
The load average is displayed using three different sets of numbers,
as shown in the following example:
The last piece of information is the average load of the system.
Assuming our system is a single-CPU system, the 0.25 means that for
the past minute, on average, the system has been 25% utilized. 0.12 in
the next position means that over the past 5 minutes, on average, the
system has been 12% utilized; and 0.15 in the final position means
that over the past 15 minutes, on average, the system has been 15%
utilized. If we saw a value of 1.00 in the second position, that would
imply that the single-CPU system was 100% utilized, on average, over
the past 5 minutes; this is good if we want to fully use a system. A
value over 1.00 for a single-CPU system implies that the system was
over-utilized: there were more processes needing CPU than CPU was
If we had more than one CPU, say a quad-CPU system, we would divide
the load average numbers by the number of CPUs. In this case, for
example, seeing a 1 minute load average of 4.00 implies that the
system as a whole was 100% (4.00/4) utilized during the last minute.
Short term increases are usually not a problem. A high peak you see is
likely a burst of activity, not a new level. For example, at start up,
many processes start and then activity settles down. If a high peak is
seen in the 5 and 15 minute load averages, it would may be cause for