E.2.25. /proc/stat

This file keeps track of a variety of different statistics about the system since it was last restarted. The contents of /proc/stat, which can be quite long, usually begins like the following example:
cpu  259246 7001 60190 34250993 137517 772 0
cpu0 259246 7001 60190 34250993 137517 772 0
intr 354133732 347209999 2272 0 4 4 0 0 3 1 1249247 0 0 80143 0 422626 5169433
ctxt 12547729
btime 1093631447
processes 130523
procs_running 1
procs_blocked 0
preempt 5651840
cpu  209841 1554 21720 118519346 72939 154 27168
cpu0 42536 798 4841 14790880 14778 124 3117
cpu1 24184 569 3875 14794524 30209 29 3130
cpu2 28616 11 2182 14818198 4020 1 3493
cpu3 35350 6 2942 14811519 3045 0 3659
cpu4 18209 135 2263 14820076 12465 0 3373
cpu5 20795 35 1866 14825701 4508 0 3615
cpu6 21607 0 2201 14827053 2325 0 3334
cpu7 18544 0 1550 14831395 1589 0 3447
intr 15239682 14857833 6 0 6 6 0 5 0 1 0 0 0 29 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 94982 0 286812
ctxt 4209609
btime 1078711415
processes 21905
procs_running 1
procs_blocked 0
Some of the more commonly used statistics include:
  • cpu — Measures the number of jiffies (1/100 of a second for x86 systems) that the system has been in user mode, user mode with low priority (nice), system mode, idle task, I/O wait, IRQ (hardirq), and softirq respectively. The IRQ (hardirq) is the direct response to a hardware event. The IRQ takes minimal work for queuing the "heavy" work up for the softirq to execute. The softirq runs at a lower priority than the IRQ and therefore may be interrupted more frequently. The total for all CPUs is given at the top, while each individual CPU is listed below with its own statistics. The following example is a 4-way Intel Pentium Xeon configuration with multi-threading enabled, therefore showing four physical processors and four virtual processors totaling eight processors.
  • page — The number of memory pages the system has written in and out to disk.
  • swap — The number of swap pages the system has brought in and out.
  • intr — The number of interrupts the system has experienced.
  • btime — The boot time, measured in the number of seconds since January 1, 1970, otherwise known as the epoch.