Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

TOP and high NICE

Go to solution
Frequent Advisor

TOP and high NICE

i looked into TOP and there i saw a very high NICE value.
I don´t know what it´s mean.

199 processes: 136 sleeping, 62 running, 1 zombie
Cpu states:
0 0.50 8.3% 32.1% 5.1% 54.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
1 0.37 6.5% 42.9% 4.7% 45.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
2 0.45 10.9% 37.2% 11.3% 40.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
3 0.29 8.5% 42.3% 4.2% 45.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
--- ---- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
avg 0.40 8.7% 38.5% 6.3% 46.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: TOP and high NICE

Your zombie might be eating up a lot of resources. A reboot will probably fix it.

I'm including a script that can collect data for longer analysis.

Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
Jeff Schussele
Honored Contributor

Re: TOP and high NICE

Hi schroedi,

Nice values simply mean processes running at priority values *other* than the normal of 20.
Could simply indicate processes started in the background which imposes a nice "penalty" of 4 resulting in a priority of 24 (higher numbers = lower priority)
Only you know what *normal* loads are on this system, but an uninformed looks shows a significant idle value - almost 50%. So I don't think the box could be termed "in distress" by any means.

Don't worry about the zombie - the OS will eventually reap it & it's DEAD anyway. Zombies are only a problem if you have loads of them & usually indicated poor programming.

PERSEVERANCE -- Remember, whatever does not kill you only makes you stronger!
Sridhar Bhaskarla
Honored Contributor

Re: TOP and high NICE


In addition to the above, if any of the processes were started in the background (like through 'cron' or 'at') they will run with low priority. It means they are being 'nicer' to other processes. CPU spent on such processes will be shown as nice CPU.

Do a 'UNIX95= ps -e -o "nice pid args"' will show you the nice values of each of the processes in the first column. Any process with > 20 nice value is being niced.

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try
doug mielke
Respected Contributor

Re: TOP and high NICE

Your nice vaules should be changing as background processes start and stop.
From what you can see in this top output, your system looks fine. Most zombies are benighn, only taking up some space in process table, etc. If you have many, it's time to do something.

There are even some everyday functions that produce zombies as normal course of running.
I remember an instructer creating them at will just by running and manipulating multiple man pages.
Honored Contributor

Re: TOP and high NICE

As far as I know, zombie processes are just an entry in the process table and they are not supposed to consume any resources since they are already dead.

There is a unsupported tool from interex called killzombie that can be used to kill zombies, if you dont have the luxuary of rebooting the servers to get rid of the zombie processes.

-- Sundar.
Learn What to do ,How to do and more importantly When to do ?