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i am experiencing a high load situation on a linux system, which was PXE booted into a initrd Ramdisk. The system is essentially idle. The system is very responsive (as if no load), yet shows a load of ~4. Anyone might have an idea to corner the issue? The logs show nothing...

[root@node2 ~]# uname -a
Linux node2 2.6.32-042stab072.10 #1 SMP Wed Jan 16 18:54:05 MSK 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

[root@node2 ~]# w
 11:09:25 up 20:20,  1 user,  load average: 3.99, 3.97, 3.91
USER     TTY      FROM              LOGIN@   IDLE   JCPU   PCPU WHAT
root     pts/0    10.60.14.100     11:04    0.00s  0.01s  0.00s w

It doesnt have any cpu problems (99-100% idle) and no prozesses in IO wait state:

[root@node2 ~]# ps aufx
USER         PID %CPU %MEM    VSZ   RSS TTY      STAT START   TIME COMMAND  
root           1  0.0  0.0  19232  1548 ?        Ss   Jan21   0:04 /init
root           2  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00 [kthreadd]
root           3  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [migration/0]
root           4  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [ksoftirqd/0]
root           5  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [migration/0]
root           6  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [watchdog/0]
root           7  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:01  \_ [events/0]
root           8  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [cgroup]
root           9  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [khelper]
root          10  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [netns]
root          11  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [async/mgr] 
root          12  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [pm]
root          13  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [sync_supers]
root          14  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [bdi-default]
root          15  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kintegrityd/0]
root          16  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kblockd/0]
root          17  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kacpid]
root          18  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kacpi_notify]
root          19  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kacpi_hotplug]
root          20  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [ata/0]
root          21  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [ata_aux]
root          22  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [ksuspend_usbd]
root          23  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [khubd]
root          24  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kseriod]
root          25  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [md/0]
root          26  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [md_misc/0]
root          28  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [ubstatd]
root          29  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [khungtaskd]
root          30  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kswapd0]
root          31  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        SN   Jan21   0:00  \_ [ksmd]
root          32  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [aio/0]
root          33  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [crypto/0]
root          38  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kthrotld/0]
root          39  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [pciehpd]
root          41  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kpsmoused]
root          42  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [usbhid_resumer]
root          43  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [ubcleand]
root         224  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [scsi_eh_0]
root         228  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [scsi_eh_1]
root         302  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:01  \_ [vmmemctl]
root         418  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kstriped]
root         469  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [kauditd]
root         730  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [rpciod/0]
root         763  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jan21   0:00  \_ [kslowd000]
root         764  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jan21   0:00  \_ [kslowd001]
root         765  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [nfsiod]
root         772  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [lockd]
root         862  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [vzmond]
root         892  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Jan21   0:00  \_ [nfsio]
root         102  0.0  0.0  10992  1100 ?        S<s  Jan21   0:00 /sbin/udevd -d
root         415  0.0  0.0  10988  1016 ?        S<   Jan21   0:00  \_ /sbin/udevd -d
root         902  0.0  0.0  10988   964 ?        S<   Jan21   0:00  \_ /sbin/udevd -d
root         616  0.0  0.0   9124  1008 ?        Ss   Jan21   0:00 /sbin/dhclient -1 -q -lf /var/lib/dhclient/dhclient-eth0.leases -pf /var/run/dhclient-eth0.pid eth0
root         671  0.0  0.0 255420  1648 ?        Sl   Jan21   0:00 /sbin/rsyslogd -i /var/run/syslogd.pid -c 5
rpc          689  0.0  0.0  18976   976 ?        Ss   Jan21   0:00 rpcbind
rpcuser      707  0.0  0.0  27572  1540 ?        Ss   Jan21   0:00 rpc.statd
root         734  0.0  0.0  25164   608 ?        Ss   Jan21   0:00 rpc.idmapd
root         790  0.0  0.0  64076  1176 ?        Ss   Jan21   0:00 /usr/sbin/sshd
root        2164  0.0  0.0  93744  4032 ?        Ss   11:04   0:00  \_ sshd: root@pts/0
root        2166  0.0  0.0  11440  1780 pts/0    Ss   11:04   0:00      \_ -bash
root        2190  0.0  0.0  13368  1068 pts/0    R+   11:10   0:00          \_ ps aufx
root         803  0.0  0.0  23252   592 ?        Ss   Jan21   0:00 vzeventd
root         963  0.0  0.0   4064   604 tty1     Ss+  Jan21   0:00 /sbin/mingetty /dev/tty1

Vmstat shows nothing:

[root@node2 ~]# vmstat
procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- --system-- -----cpu-----
 r  b   swpd   free   buff  cache   si   so    bi    bo   in   cs us sy id wa st
 1  0      0 7566212      0 535656    0    0     0     0   19   23  0  0 100  0  0
share|improve this question
    
Is it a physical or virtual box? –  Eric DANNIELOU Jan 22 '13 at 11:06
    
it is a box on vmware vsphere. but the load is an internal view is it? so it should stay at 0.0 regardless of the hosts load as far as i understand it. –  d-fens Jan 22 '13 at 11:29
    
How many Cores are available for the system? –  John Felton Jan 22 '13 at 11:37
    
one core is available –  d-fens Jan 22 '13 at 11:57
    
cat /proc/loadavg <- if this is low, then I guess the w command does have a bug or something. If you run top, do you get the correct values? vmstat can be trusted as you don't have any blocked processes. –  Danie Jan 22 '13 at 12:28
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