CPU minutes overview


DreamHost measures server resource consumption in CPU minutes. This number indicates how much time a processor spends working for your username. You can use as much as you would like as long as you do not affect the server or other customers' sites. If you are able to optimize your site correctly, you can use up to 300+ CPU minutes without causing any issues. However, if your services are not optimized or just very inefficient, you can easily bring down a server's performance with very little CPU usage.

Average shared hosting customers normally use less than 5 CPU minutes per day for their account, so you may want to gauge this with your usage to give you an idea of how much you are using.

Bandwidth and CPU usage are very different and do not measure the same resource.


Anything run by your user on the server uses CPU time. The more efficient your coding and databases are, the less CPU time is used to do the calculations needed to run your site. For example, loading a static image takes little time on the CPU. On the other hand, searching for a single comment in a database full of comment spam could take considerably longer, and therefore use more CPU time.

A WordPress blog with many plugins, uptime robots, and a theme with a lot of widgets can take entire minutes of CPU time each day. To insure performance, you should keep CPU time to a minimum.

Enabling CPU reporting

  1. Navigate to the Manage Users page.
  2. To the right of your username, click the Edit button.
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  3. On the user’s edit page, check the checkbox next to ‘CPU Reporting’.
  4. Click the Save Changes button to save.

Viewing CPU usage

Once a day, CPU usage is calculated and you are able to access that log via SSH or SFTP in the following directory:


CPU error logs

Enabling CPU minutes as shown above will not log any CPU errors.

See also

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Article last updated PST.