On a lightly loaded server top is misbehaving: it continuously shows all CPU states at 0.0% yet my load varies from 0.50 to about 3. Is there any explanation for this?
Maybe. :-) I was going to say that on fast machines, it's not unusual for processes which start up and then finish quickly to go away before top "sees" them, but you still see the effect in the aggregate system load. However, that doesn't explain this line:
> CPU states: 0.0% user, 0.0% nice, 0.0% system, 0.0% interrupt, 0.0% idle
Clutching at straws, maybe top can't read /dev/kmem or something? Try doing a "MAKEDEV all" in /dev...
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