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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The esxtop utility causes high CPU load (2000829)


  • The esxtop utility is very slow to redraw and display data.
  • The console world indicates 100% load.
  • ESX console shows the esxtop process generating the high CPU load.
  • ESX host is sluggish and unresponsive.
  • Stopping the esxtop utility reduces the CPU load to normal.


Running the esxtop utility in interactive mode on an ESX host with a large number of LUNs may cause high CPU load.

The esxtop utility scans for new objects on every snapshot by default. When there are a large number of LUNs present, the scan process takes longer to complete. The default interval between each snapshot is 5 seconds. If a scan for new objects takes longer than 5 seconds, the utility queues those scans and it may appear frozen.

To avoid this issue, run the esxtop utility with the -l switch. The -l switch locks the esxtop objects to those available in the first snapshot and does not scan for new ones on every snapshot.

Run this command to use the -l switch:
# esxtop -l

Running # esxtop -help  returns this information on the -l switch:
# esxtop -help
usage: esxtop [-h] [-v] [-b] [-l] [-s] [-a] [-c config file] [-R vm-support-dir-path]
[-d delay] [-n iterations][-export-entity entity-file] [-import-entity entity-file]

-l locks the esxtop objects to those available in the first snapshot.