XLoadtime is a replacement for the standard X system load tool, XLoad. It has a few enhancements over the normal xload. Instead of displaying the hostname at the top of the bar graph, it can display the current time. This way you don't have to have a separate clock on your desktop. There is also an option to display CPU usage as a vertical bar next to the load graph. For SMP systems with a 2.2.0+ kernel, you get one bar per CPU.


You can download the latest release, version 2.2:


Version 2.2
Version 2.1
Version 2.0

Screen Shots

Here are some sample screen shots:

A simple setup with no options. You can see the load graph and time. The CPU usage bar(s) are not turned on.

This is with a few options, swallowed inside my FvwmButtons bar. The two bars on the left are the CPU load meters, one for each CPU in my dual P200 computer.


XLoadtime started sometime in the middle of 1996, when Darren Moffat wrote it and announced it on cola. I thought it was a good idea, since I had been using a cheesy digital clock I made with XForms and a separate xload window. Combining them into one would save screen space, and memory. I downloaded it and tried it out. Being an American, I didn't want that silly 24hour clock, I wanted 12hour with AM/PM displayed. So I added that option. The program was also missing the -update and -scale options from xload, which I was used to using. So I added those options too. It also used fopen() and fscanf(), which annoyed me. So I wrote it to be more efficient and use open() and read(). I sent my changes to Darren and proceeded to use xloadtime for the next few years.

Then one day I switched to glibc and wanted to recompile XLoadtime. But, I discovered that I didn't have the source anymore! What was worse, I couldn't find it anywhere on the net, Darren's email address bounced, and the XLoadtime web site was gone. Fortunately, all was not lost. I found a copy of the source in an email I had sent a friend in October 1996! I had been wanting something that would show the CPU usage from both my CPUs, so I added that in. I wrote some docs, made a spec file, this web page, and packaged everything up and re-released it, born again out of the ashes of a sent-mail folder, better than ever.

Load average and CPU usage

You might wonder, what is the difference between these two? Well, load average is the average number of tasks in the run queue over a time period. CPU usage is the average portion of the time the CPU spent non-idle. CPU usage ranges from 0 to 100 percent. 0% means the CPU didn't do anything, while 100% means the CPU spent all the time working on something. Load average on the other hand ranges from 0 to infinity. A load of 0 means that there were no tasks to run. A load of 1 means that there was an average of one task which wanted to run. A load of 2 means there were two tasks, and so on.

Trent Piepho
Back to my Home Page