High CPU Utilization on SUSE

This document (7002713) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10


The server shows high CPU utilization.

The vmstat command shows the following:

#==[ Command ]======================================#
# /usr/bin/vmstat 1 4                                             vvvvvvvvvvvvvv
procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- -system-- -----cpu------
 r  b   swpd   free   buff  cache   si   so    bi    bo   in   cs us sy id wa st
 2  0      0 380820  49880 301160    0    0     3     3  341   43  0 40 60  0  0
 2  0      0 380820  49880 301160    0    0     0   184  262   69 81 19  0  0  0
 2  0      0 380820  49880 301160    0    0     0     0  251   59 80 20  0  0  0
 2  0      0 380820  49880 301160    0    0     0     0  260   59 78 22  0  0  0

The vmstat command shows CPU utilization as percent idle in the "id" column under "cpu", so just subtract the values in the id column from 100 to get the current CPU utilization.


It's not necessarily a bad thing to have high CPU utilization on a Linux server. However, it is an indication performance may be suffering. If you observe noticeable performance problems, they you need to investigate further. If your server seems to run properly, then the high CPU utilization may just be a spike in activity and can just be monitored.

However, if you are experiencing low memory and high CPU utilization, you may have an overburdened server. You can find which applications are consuming the most CPU cycles by looking in the supportconfig basic-health-check.txt file under the Top 10 CPU Processes section or using the ps command. Supportconfig uses the following command to capture the Top 10 CPU Processes:

# ps axwwo %cpu,pid,user,cmd | sort -k 1 -r -n | head -11 | sed -e '/^%/d'

#==[ Top 10 CPU Processes ]=========================#
74.4 11340 root     /bin/bash /usr/local/sbin/vbatch
45.3 11379 root     /bin/bash /usr/local/sbin/emconfig
 1.6 11480 root     /bin/bash /sbin/supportconfig -m
 0.2 11382 root     -bash
 0.1 11381 root     login -- root
 0.0 11620 root     ps axwwo %cpu,pid,user,cmd
 0.0 11217 postfix  pickup -l -t fifo -u
 0.0  3586 root     -bash
 0.0  3387 root     /sbin/mingetty tty6
 0.0  3369 root     /sbin/mingetty tty5

In this case the third party vbatch and emconfig commands are taking up most of the CPU cycles. You might consider moving one of those processes to another server. There may be problems with these applications as well that may require further debugging or troubleshooting.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7002713
  • Creation Date: 20-Feb-2009
  • Modified Date:27-Aug-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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