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sar2pcp - Man Page

import sar data and create a PCP archive


sar2pcp infile outfile


sar2pcp is intended to read a binary System Activity Reporting (sar) data file as created by sadc(1) (infile) and translate this into a Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) archive with the basename outfile.

However, if infile has the suffix “.xml”, then it will be considered already in XML format and sar2pcp will operate directly on it.

The resultant PCP achive may be used with all the PCP client tools to graph subsets of the data using pmchart(1), perform data reduction and reporting, filter with the PCP inference engine pmie(1), etc.

A series of physical files will be created with the prefix outfile. These are outfile.0 (the performance data), outfile.meta (the metadata that describes the performance data) and outfile.index (a temporal index to improve efficiency of replay operations for the archive). If any of these files exists already, then sar2pcp will not overwrite them and will exit with an error message of the form

_&__pmLogNewFile: “blah.0” already exists, not over-written

sar2pcp is a Perl script that uses the PCP::LogImport Perl wrapper around the PCP libpcp_import library, and as such could be used as an example to develop new tools to import other types of performance data and create PCP archives. A Python wrapper module is also available.


As of sysstat version 12.0.5, sadc(1) has added functionality to directly write PCP archive files. To produce archive files from sar run:

$ sadf -l -O pcparchive=ARCHIVE_NAME sar.dat -- -A


When not using the XML input option, sar2pcp requires infile to have been created by a version of sadc(1) from http://sebastien.godard.pagesperso-orange.fr/ which includes the sadf(1) utility to translate infile into an XML stream (any since version 6); sar2pcp will automatically run sadf(1) and translate the resultant XML into a PCP archive.

When using binary sadc files it is important to ensure the installed sadf is compatible with the version of sadc that originally generated the binary files. Simply assuming a newer installed version will work is unfortunately far too optimistic, and nor should one assume that binary data from different platforms (e.g. different endianness) will work - these issues are due to limitations in sadc and sadf, and not in sar2pcp itself.

Fortunately, the sadf message indicating that an incompatibility has been detected is consistent across versions, and is always prefixed

Invalid system activity file

Using an XML infile has the advantage that the installed version of sadf is completely bypassed. sar2pcp undertakes to transform any valid XML produced by any of the different variations of sadf into a valid PCP archive. Any version of PCP will be able to interpret the archive files produced by any version of sar2pcp, and you are also free to move the binary PCP archive between different platforms, different hardware, even different operating systems - it Just Works (TM).

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).

For environment variables affecting PCP tools, see pmGetOptions(3).

See Also

pmie(1), pmchart(1), pmlogger(1), pmlogextract(1), pmlogsummary(1), sadc(1), sadf(1), sar(1), Date::Parse(3pm), Date::Format(3pm), PCP::LogImport(3pm), XML::TokeParser(3pm) and LOGIMPORT(3).

Referenced By


PCP Performance Co-Pilot