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David van Geest

Software, Life, and Stuff I Couldn't Find on the Internet

High CPU load on CentOS VirtualBox

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A while ago I installed CentOS 5.4 in a VM running in VirtualBox. After installing the Guest Additions, and doing a few setup tasks, I noticed that the VM was almost pegging one core of my dual-core host CPU. The load would periodically drop to about 50%, but then return to 100%. Googling revealed the problem to be the CentOS kernel running at 1000 Hz. I didn't want to recompile the kernel, but providing an option to GRUB did the trick. Adding "divider=10" to the end of the kernel has been working beautifully. So your menu.lst entry for CentOS should read something like this:

title CentOS (2.6.18-164.6.1.el5)
   root (hd0,0)
   kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-164.6.1.el5 ro root=.... rhgb quiet divider=10
   initrd /initrd-2.6.18-164.6.1.el5.img