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pmieconf - Man Page

display and set configurable pmie rule variables


pmieconf [-cFv?] [-f file] [-r rulepath] [command [args...]]


pmieconf is a utility for viewing and configuring variables from generalized pmie(1) rules. The set of generalized rules is read in from rulepath, and the output file produced by pmieconf is a valid input file for pmie.


The available command line options are:


When run from automated pmie setup processes, this option is used to add a specific message and timestamp indicating that this is the case. Unless over-ridden by the -f flag, the default configuration file to be written or updated when the -c flag is given and pmieconf is run by the root user, is $PCP_VAR_DIR/config/pmie/config.default. This is also the default configuration file used by the pmie service, see pmie_daily(1). This flag is not appropriate when using the tool interactively.

-f file, --config=file

Any rule modifications resulting from pmieconf manipulation of variable values will be written to file. The default value of file is dependent on the user ID - for the root user (when the -c flag is not also given, see above) the file is $PCP_SYSCONF_DIR/pmie/config.default. For other users the default is $HOME/.pcp/pmie/config.pmie.

-F,  --force

Forces the pmieconf output file to be created (or updated), after which pmieconf immediately exits.

-r rulepath, --rules=rulepath

Allows the source of generalized pmie rules to be changed - rulepath is a colon-delimited list of pmieconf(5) rule files and/or subdirectories. The default value for rulepath is $PCP_VAR_DIR/config/pmieconf. Use of this option overrides the PMIECONF_PATH environment variable which has a similar function.

-v,  --verbose

Enable verbose mode. associated variables will be displayed. This is the complete list of variables which affects any given rule (by default, global variables are not displayed with the rule).

-?,  --help

Display usage message and exit.

The pmieconf commands allow information related to the various rules and configurable variables to be displayed or modified. If no pmieconf commands are presented on the command line, pmieconf prompts for commands interactively.

Command Language

The pmieconf command language is described here:

help  [ { . | all | global | <rule> | <group> } [<variable>] ]

Without arguments, the help command displays the syntax for all of the available pmieconf commands. With one argument, a description of one or more of the generalized rules is displayed. With two arguments, a description of a specific variable relating to one or more of the generalized rules is displayed.

rules  [ enabled | disabled ]

Display the name and short summary for all of the generalized rules found on rulepath. Each of the rule names can be used in place of the keyword <rule> in this command syntax description. The enabled and disabled options can be used to filter the set of rules displayed to just those which are enabled or disabled respectfully.


Display the name of all of the rule groups that were found on rulepath. Each of the group names can be used in place of the keyword <group> in this command syntax description, which applies the command to all rules within the rule group.


Display status information relating to the current pmieconf session, including a list of running pmie processes which are currently using file.

enable  { . | all | <rule> | <group> }

Enables the specified rule or group of rules. An enabled rule is one which will be included in the pmie configuration file generated by pmieconf. Any enabled "actions" will be appended to the rule's "predicate", in a manner conforming to the pmie syntax ("actions" can be viewed using the list global command, described below).

disable  { . | all | <rule> | <group> }

Disables the specified rule or group of rules. If the rule was previously enabled, it will be removed from the pmie configuration file generated by pmieconf, and hence no longer evaluated when pmie is restarted (using pmieconf does not affect any existing pmie processes using file).

list  { . | all | global | <rule> | <group> } [<variable>]

Display the values for a specific rule variable; or for all variables of a rule, a rule group, all rules, or the global variables.

modify  { . | all | global | <rule> | <group> } <variable> <value>

Enable, disable, or otherwise change the value for one or more rule variables. This value must be consistent with the type of the variable, which can be inferred from the format of the printed value - e.g. strings will be enclosed in double-quotes, percentages have the “%” symbol appended, etc. Note that certain rule variables cannot be modified through pmieconf - "predicate" and "help", for example.

undo  { . | all | global | <rule> | <group> } [<variable>]

Applicable only to a variable whose value has been modified - this command simply reverts to the default value for the given variable.


Save any changes made to file and then exit pmieconf.


Exit pmieconf immediately without saving any changes to file.

Each of the commands above can be shortened by simply using the first character of the command name, and also “?” for help.

Use of the all keyword causes the command to be applied to all of the rules. The global keyword refers to those variables which are applied to every rule. Such variables can be changed either globally or locally, for example:

  pmieconf> modify global delta "5 minutes"
  pmieconf> modify memory delta "1 minute"

causes all rules to now be evaluated once every five minutes, except for rules in the "memory" group which are to be evaluated once per minute.

The “.” character is special to pmieconf - it refers to the last successfully used value of all, global, <rule> or <group>.


Specify that all of the rules in the "memory" group should be evaluated:

  pmieconf> modify memory enabled yes

Change your mind, and revert to using only the "memory" rules which were enabled by default:

  pmieconf> undo memory enabled

Specify that notification of rules which evaluate to true should be sent to syslogd(1):

  pmieconf> modify global syslog_action yes

Specify that rules in the "per_cpu" group should use a different holdoff value to other rules:

  pmieconf> help global holdoff
    rule: global  [generic parameters applied to all rules]
     var: holdoff
    help: Once the predicate is true and the action is executed,
	  this variable allows suppression of further action
	  execution until the specified interval has elapsed.
	  A value of zero enables execution of the action if
	  the rule predicate is true at the next sample. Default
	  units are seconds and common units are "second", "sec",
	  "minute", "min" and "hour".

  pmieconf> modify per_cpu holdoff "1 hour"

Lower the threshold associated with a particular variable for a specified rule:

  pmieconf> l cpu.syscall predicate
    rule: cpu.syscall  [High aggregate system call rate]
      predicate =
	      some_host (
		  ( kernel.all.syscall $hosts$ )
		    > $threshold$ count/sec * hinv.ncpu $hosts$

  pmieconf> m . threshold 7000

  pmieconf> l . threshold
    rule: cpu.syscall  [High aggregate system call rate]
	    threshold = 7000



generalized system resource monitoring rules


default super-user settings for system resource monitoring rules


default user settings for system resource monitoring rules


The environment variable PMIECONF_PATH has a similar function to the -r option described above, and if set will be used provided no -r option is presented.

PCP Environment

Environment variables with the prefix PCP_ are used to parameterize the file and directory names used by PCP. On each installation, the file /etc/pcp.conf contains the local values for these variables. The $PCP_CONF variable may be used to specify an alternative configuration file, as described in pcp.conf(5).

See Also

PCPIntro(1), pmie(1), pmie_check(1) and pmieconf(5).

Referenced By

PCPIntro(1), pmie(1), pmie_check(1), pmieconf(5), pmiectl(1).

PCP Performance Co-Pilot