Linux Load Averages: Solving the Mystery

Brendan Gregg

And here's an excerpt from [Linux] today (include/linux/sched/loadavg.h): #define EXP_1 1884 /* 1/exp(5sec/1min) as fixed-point */ #define EXP_5 2014 /* 1/exp(5sec/5min) */ #define EXP_15 2037 /* 1/exp(5sec/15min) */. Load averages are an industry-critical metric – my company spends millions auto-scaling cloud instances based on them and other metrics – but on Linux there's some mystery around them.