Using the Linux Uptime Command

The following article will describe how to the linux command “uptime.”  The uptime command is very useful for quickly getting information about how a Linux system is running.  It provides the end user with a quick snapshot of server performance.  It saves time as it does not get into very detailed statistics which other linux commands can do.

To access the “uptime” screen you simply type in top at the command line once you have logged into your system shell.


Once you have entered the command uptime you will see the following screen:


This screen gives you the following information regarding the system:

System Time:


This displays the time the system clock shows in 24 hour format:

System Uptime:


This shows you how long the system has been running for.  It will state “up” and then give a timeframe.  In this example picture the system has been running for 5 Hours 21 Minutes.  The time will keep track of hours and minutes.  Once a 24 hour period has past will then keep track of uptime by the number of days, hours and minutes.  Whenever a server is rebooted this timer is reset back to zero.

Number of Users Logged In:


This statistic shows you how many active users are logged into your system at a time.  Pending on the function of the system and if multiple people access it, it’s common to see more than just 1 user.

Load Average:


The load average is the actual usage being put on the server.  This number is signified anywhere from 0.0 up through whole numbers.  Each decimal point can be calculated to a percentage (ie. .01 equals 1% load average). The 3 numbers correspond with the load average for a given time frame during a 1 minute, 5 minute and 15 minute interval.  The lower the load average the better your system will perform.

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