SUMMARY: Ratio of user versus system calls

From: Maes_Eric (
Date: Thu Dec 07 1995 - 13:51:34 CST

The question was:

While monitoring the performance of a Sparcstation 10 (SunOS 4.1.3) which
operates as a Sybase/NFS/NIS/DNS server, I observed (using "top") that
we have about 30% user calls and 70% system calls. Various sources state
that under normal conditions these values should really be the other way
round. Is there a way to determine what causes this "abnormal" behaviour?
Killing off processes to see what happens is not an option since this is
a production machine ...

The answer:
Nothing really conclusive, although most of the respondents agreed that the combination of NFS and Sybase would account for the large number of system calls.

Answers came from: (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child}) (Vance McIndoe) (Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services)
John Rosenberg <>
Arve Kjoelen <>
Anchi Zhang <anchi@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM>
Pierre-Etienne Chartier <>

Thanks again for your friendly cooperation!

Eric Maes
UNIX Systems Administrator/DBA, EDS/CSG-Europe
Mail -
Tel : +32-(0)3.540.6328
FAX : +32-(0)3.540.6755

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