High CPU usage in dash but not htop -- at what is it considered abuse?

Hi all,

I'm running a minecraft server (spigot, latest version on ubuntu 19.10). I noticed the dashboard on vultr is showing constantly high CPU usage (100-103%), even when no one is connected, but htop shows CPU usage is hanging around 5-10% when idle (about 15- 60% when people are playing). I tried searching, and found that in a virtual environment, things like network operations count as CPU. I get that, but why would it report as constantly 100% utilization, even if no one is connected, or the minecraft server software is otherwise idle? I have no plugins or scripts. I know a lot of resource monitoring programs have an "idle" task set as low priority, and this can cause things like the dashboard to report high CPU even though it isn't. The dashboard reports high CPU whether or not htop is running. Using iotop, I see there is no disk activity. And finally, using iptraf-ng, I see there's only about 30 kbps traffic (appears to be resources used by the monitor tools).

What else can I check?

This also leads me to another question... At what point is high CPU usage considered abuse? I'm assuming I should go by Vultr's stats in the dashboard, instead of what my guest OS is reporting? I'm asking this because I've been thinking of possibly renting the higher end servers for physics simulations and rendering graphics. This means the CPUs would be 100% for days, maybe even weeks.

Any input is appreciated!


  • @jasonh Have you tried booting up single-user to see how the load shows then?

    I don't know what else to suggest, but as for "low/idle priority" processes, there is no such thing as far as the host sees.

    Each guest uses/is allocated whatever resources as needed. The host has no concept of what the guest is doing, and what is low priority and what isn't.

    If you ran something like SETI@home or something else that took up all your idle CPU, that means idle from the guests point of view, not the hosts, - to the host that is just 100% cpu use. Additionally, saying this causes things to report in the dashboard as high priority even when it isn't" is incorrect. If the guest is doing stuff, then that is CPU usage. Monitoring scripts etc. that run at low priority still shouldn't be swallowing up as much CPU as they can grab, and when they are idle, and the machine is idle, that reflects upwards.

    Eg. I have many various monitoring scripts on my machines, and they too run at low priority so as not to affect workload. However, they too spend most of their time idle, and this is reflected in the lower reported dashboard usage.

    cheers, jamie

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