How to check the load average :
w displays information about the users currently on the machine, and their processes. The header shows, in this order, the current time, how long the system has been running, how many users are currently logged on, and the system load averages for the past 1, 5, and 15 minutes.
[root@testpc ~]# w
10:40:09 up 23 days, 11:32, 2 users, load average: 0.14, 0.09, 0.03
USER TTY FROM LOGIN @ IDLE JCPU PCPU WHAT
root tty1 - 03Aug10 9days 0.01s 0.01s -bash
root pts/2 192.168.1.x 05Aug10 0.00s 0.06s 0.00s w
The top program provides a dynamic real-time view of a running system. It can display system summary information as well as a list of tasks currently being managed by the Linux kernel.
h : Help
q : Quit