Linux load average – the definitive summary

What is the Linux load average?

This is not exactly an orphan question but, as many other questions we tried to address in this blog, it is surrounded by misconceptions and incorrect information. Every time one starts discussing load averages, either in person or online, confusion steps in… and refuses to leave. We will try to provide an explanation that is “as simple as possible, but not simpler”, as Einstein said once, and also short enough to be worth reading.