Does anyone know what the different characters in the tload graph output mean? Mostly there are * but I also = and -.

1 Answer 1


It's just the graphical (weird) representation of the last minute load average of the system over the time.

The "*"s are just the representation of the level of load average. Understand it as a clasical "area graph". The "-" sings just define the unities of load, and the "=" substitute the "-" when the bar passes the line that marks the unit of the graph. You can change the scale with the "-s flag".

A visual example may be clearer:

------------------------------------- load 3

--------------------====------------- load 2
    **             ******   **
   ******         *************
  *********       **************
--=========-------==============----- load 1
************************************* load 0

In case don't know how to interpret the load average numbers check this wikipedia link

  • can you elaborate on what unities of load stand for and how it's associated with load average numbers?
    – Jerry Chin
    Sep 7, 2017 at 8:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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