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xload - Man Page

system load average display for X


xload [-toolkitoption ...] [-scale integer] [-update seconds]
       [-hl color] [-highlight color]  [-remote host]
       [-jumpscroll pixels] [-label string] [-nolabel] [-lights]


The xload program displays a periodically updating histogram of the system load average.


Xload accepts all of the standard X Toolkit command line options (see X(7)). The order of the options is unimportant.  xload also accepts the following additional options:

-hl color or -highlight color

This option specifies the color of the scale lines.

-jumpscroll pixels

The number of pixels to shift the graph to the left when the graph reaches the right edge of the window.  The default value is 1/2 the width of the current window.  Smooth scrolling can be achieved by setting it to 1.

-label string

The string to put into the label above the load average.


If this command line option is specified then no label will be displayed above the load graph.


When specified, this option causes xload to display the current load average by using the keyboard leds; for a load average of n, xload lights the first n keyboard leds. This option turns off the usual screen display.

-scale integer

This option specifies the minimum number of tick marks in the histogram, where one division represents one load average point.  If the load goes above this number, xload will create more divisions, but it will never use fewer than this number.  The default is 1.

-update seconds

This option specifies the interval in seconds at which xload updates its display.  The minimum amount of time allowed between updates is 1 second.  The default is 10.

-remote host

This option tells xload to display the load of host instead of localhost. Xload gets the information from the rwhod database and consequently requires rwhod to be executing both on localhost and host.


In addition to the resources available to each of the widgets used by xload there is one resource defined by the application itself.

showLabel (class Boolean)

If False then no label will be displayed.


In order to specify resources, it is useful to know the hierarchy of the widgets which compose xload.  In the notation below, indentation indicates hierarchical structure.  The widget class name is given first, followed by the widget instance name.

XLoad  xload
        Paned  paned
                Label  label
                StripChart  load



to get the default host and display number.


to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.



specifies required resources

See Also

X(7), xrdb(1), mem(4), Athena StripChart Widget.


On older platforms, this program may require the ability to open and read the special system file /dev/kmem.  Sites that do not allow general access to this file may need to make xload belong to the same group as /dev/kmem and turn on the set group id permission flag.

Reading the load average is inherently non-portable.  Therefore, the routine used to read it (get_load.c) must be ported to each new operating system.


K. Shane Hartman (MIT-LCS) and Stuart A. Malone (MIT-LCS);
with features added by Jim Gettys (MIT-Athena), Bob Scheifler (MIT-LCS), Tony Della Fera (MIT-Athena), and Chris Peterson (MIT-LCS).


xload 1.1.4 X Version 11