My load average has skyrocketed and top shows that it’s one of the headless virtualbox virtual machines. But which one is it?

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 2.57.01 PM

Doh! The culprit has the same RAM allocation as one of the others, that narrows it down, but doesn’t pinpoint the culprit.

So I used lsof to show all the open files and grep for the .vdi virtual hard disks (which hopefully like me, you’ve given a meaningful names to) to figure out which virtual machine is associated with which PID.

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 2.54.03 PM

The result? The virus scanner on the windows guest had crashed.

Update: here’s an even easier method!

Simply add -c to the top command to show the command that was used to start the process. This will show the name of the VM as it was given to VBoxheadless as an argument.

  PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND                                                            
 5206 vmuser    20   0 6227004 4.225g 4.157g S  20.0 13.5   8114:58 /usr/lib/virtualbox/VBoxHeadless -s database                           
 5407 vmuser    20   0 3832764 1.248g 1.212g S  13.3  4.0   5913:35 /usr/lib/virtualbox/VBoxHeadless -s squirrel                       
 8393 vmuser    20   0 1965528 615628 554856 S   6.7  1.9 354:55.38 /usr/lib/virtualbox/VBoxHeadless -s automation

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