Please have a look at htop screenshot below

enter image description here

You can see there that current host has two CPU cores (or CPUs).

All processes are ordered by CPU usage descending.

So how is it possible that with two processes eating 10% of CPU summary info shows that each of CPU core is loaded more than 50%?

System info: CentOS 5, DigitalOcean


Kernel threads are not hidden in htop settings.

top was showing alike information when ordered by CPU usage (in detail it showed that CPU is significantly loaded by system (~50%) and top processes in its list were using <10% summarized)

This was fixed by server reboot but it is still interesting why that may happen.

  • The only thing I see of note in your picture is that the majority of the cpu load is from kernel process(es) Jan 20, 2015 at 20:29
  • Yes, I also can see that but those kernel processes consume 0% as per htop.
    – humkins
    Jan 20, 2015 at 22:07
  • Same problem on Digital ocean too, but not solved by reboot :/ any clue?
    – rap-2-h
    Jan 27, 2016 at 14:35
  • It's an old question, but I have the same problem from time to time. Did you found something?
    – florgeng
    Dec 18, 2019 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


Kernel processe is hidden by default in htop. You can use shift-k to show kernel processes. (red in cpu usage bar is for kernel usage)

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