SUMMARY: top showing incorrect information

From: Jarkko Airaksinen <>
Date: Mon Feb 19 2007 - 04:06:00 EST

Thanks to everyone who responded.

Even though I didn't really get an answer on why top 3.6 shows the
process info so differently, the answer was unanimous.

Use prstat instead of top to get correct info.


Ps. Answers I got:

How many CPUs are on this box.  I'm not sure about top, but some
measurement tools report total CPU usage based on the number of CPUs,
while the details show how much CPU a process is using on one CPU.  So
on a dual cpu machine, a process using 100% of a CPU will show up in the
details as 100%, but on the total, the system will show 50% busy.


The latest top that I got a few weeks ago is a bit weird too.
It reports processes by % of a single cpu used instead of %of overall


I use prstat which is supported by Sun :-)


Not often, but it's possible.  The values you see for processes are not
instantaneous values, but heavily damped.

Run a CPU hog on an otherwise idle box.  It will be taking ~99% CPU, but
both 'ps' and 'top' will show it significantly lower than that for many
seconds.  It will take nearly a minute to get very close to steady

You might try 'prstat -m' which uses microstate accounting to get much
closer.  Even there it's off (by a much smaller amount) until Solaris


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jarkko
Sent: viernes, 16 de febrero de 2007 13:51
Subject: top showing incorrect information

Hello dear Gurus,

I just installed the latest top 3.6. in my Sol8 box. The info it shows
seems to have been gotten with the Stetson-Harrison method:

last pid: 18052;  load avg:  0.72,  0.63,  0.61;       up 7+02:12:27

91 processes: 90 sleeping, 1 on cpu

CPU states: 74.6% idle, 18.6% user,  0.9% kernel,  5.9% iowait,  0.0%

Memory: 16G phys mem, 13G free mem, 16G swap, 16G free swap


 17287 ora920     1  60    0 2005M   23M sleep   19:43 76.65% oracle

  1098 root      16  59    0   37M   17M sleep    5:50  0.00% java

   998 root      20  59    0   31M   14M sleep    1:17  0.00% java

74.6% idle while Oracle takes 76.65%?

Have you had same kinds of oddities in your top?



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