Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2008
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Although not prefect, the system load averages are the average number of processes that are either in a runnable or uninterruptable state. A process in a runnable state is either using the CPU or waiting to use the CPU. A process in unin‐terruptable state is waiting for some I/O access, eg waiting for disk.

The averages are taken over the three time intervals (1 min, 5 min and 15 min). Load averages are not normalized for the number of CPUs in a system, so a load average of 1 means a single CPU system is loaded all the time while on a 4 CPU system it means it was idle 75% of the time.

Use the "top" command for a better understanding of what specific processes are consuming the most resources.

A more technical explanation of load averages: