60 second CPU load spike

Brian Kuschak brian.kuschak at skystream.com
Wed Feb 7 06:35:59 EST 2001

Hi Jerry,

Yes, I put printk's in the kupdate and kbdflush loops.  Seems like kupdate
was called every 5 seconds and bdflush was less often (I don't recall the
exact period, but it didn't seem to coincide with my load spike).


Did you check the file system synchronizing?  Traditionally, it happens
every 30 seconds, but it may be 60 seconds in your system.  Even if you
are running on a RAM disk, the system quite likely is doing a bdflush()

man update(8), bdflush(2)


At 10:33 AM 2/6/01 -0800, bkuschak at yahoo.com wrote:

>I was hoping someone might be able to provide a few hints or insights
>a problem I am trying to track down.  I've noticed that something in
>our system
>is spiking the CPU load exactly every 60 seconds.  When the system is
>loaded by packet processing, this spike causes the CPU to go to about
>100% (from
>80%) for approximately 2-3 seconds.  This causes packet drops at
>either the
>hardware or the netif_rx() backlog queue.  Here is some more
>- no other processes running except init, getty, sh, kswapd, kupdate,
>wdt (watchdog)
>- kernel instrumentation shows one 60-second timer (wdt), but it is not
>coincident with the spike
>- happens with ethernet IP-forwarding
>- profiling data inconclusive
>- using MontaVista's 2.4 kernel on PowerPC405
>I noticed 60 second periodic tasks such as route-related garbage
>etc, and changed these periods in /proc, without any effect.  I would
>like to
>find out what is causing these spikes and eliminate the problem.  Any
>would be appreciated.

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