PCPIntro man page

PCPIntro — introduction to the Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) libraries

Introduction

Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) is a toolkit designed for monitoring and managing system-level performance.

The PCP libraries support the APIs required to create new performance monitoring tools and new agents (or PMDAs) to export performance data. The libpcp library is used in both cases. The libpcp_pmda library is used only for PMDAs.

Individual library routines are documented in their own manual page entries.

Most routines return an integer value; greater than equal to zero for success and less than zero for an error. The error codes have symbolic names defined in <pcp/pmapi.h>. Other negative values are used to encode errors that can be mapped to the traditional errno values defined in <errno.h>, with the value negated. To translate all PCP error codes into useful messages use either pmerr(1) or pmErrStr(3); the latter may also be used to decode the -errno cases.

General Errors

These common errors may occur in various PCP interactions.

PM_ERR_TIMEOUT

Timeout waiting for a response from PMCD
Many interactions between PCP applications involve synchronous message passing, and these are subject to timeout constraints. These errors are most frequently encountered when using network connections with slow data rates or long latencies.

For client-pmcd timeouts, refer to PCPIntro(1) for environment variables that may be used to modify the timeout thresholds. For pmcd-PMDA timeouts refer to the -t and -q options of pmcd(1) and the PCP metric pmcd.control.timeout that can be dynamically changed with pmstore(1).

PM_ERR_APPVERSION
Metric not supported by this version of monitored application
Some performance metrics are unavailable from specific versions of the associated PMDA, or may be unavailable because the underlying instrumentation has changed or is not installed or is not enabled. This error is used in results from pmFetch(3) to indicate these situations.
PM_ERR_IPC
IPC protocol failure
Generic protocol failure on a pipe or socket connecting two PCP applications, eg. client-pmcd, or client-pmtime, or PMDA-pmcd or pmlc-pmlogger.
PM_ERR_TEXT
Oneline or help text is not available
Set by a PMDA, and passed back to a PCP client, to indicate that the PMDA is unable to supply the requested metric or instance domain help text.
PM_ERR_VALUE

Missing metric value(s)
This error is used for a number of conditions in which the value of a performance metric is inappropriate for the context in which it is being used, eg.

(a)
Bad value for the metric pmcd.timezone when trying to set the timezone via pmNewContextZone(3) for a remote or archive context.
(b)
Attempting to interpolate values for a metric with non-numeric data type from a set of PCP archives.
(c)
A bad result data structure passed to pmStore(3).
PM_ERR_NAME
Unknown metric name
Just what the message says.
PM_ERR_PMID
Unknown or illegal metric identifier
Just what the message says.
PM_ERR_INDOM
Unknown or illegal instance domain identifier
A request nominates an instance domain that is unknown or PM_INDOM_NULL. May occur as a consequence of the instance domain identifier passed by a PCP client to pmGetInDom(3), pmLookupInDom(3), pmNameInDom(3), pmGetInDomArchive(3), pmLookupInDomArchive(3), pmNameInDomArchive(3) or a request passed from pmcd(1) to a PMDA.
PM_ERR_EOF
IPC channel closed
End of file on a pipe or socket connecting two PCP applications, eg. client-pmcd, or client-pmtime or PMDA-pmcd.
PM_ERR_NOCONTEXT
Attempt to use an illegal context
Typically caused by a PCP client that tries to make calls before calling pmNewContext(3) or after calling pmDestroyContext(3).
PM_ERR_PERMISSION
No permission to perform requested operation
PCP-specific access controls apply to pmcd(1) and pmlogger(1). Platform-specific permission errors are returned as -EPERM.
PM_ERR_CONV
Impossible value or scale conversion
Some value conversion requests are illegal, eg. bad debug flag symbolic name for -D option, or asking pmExtractValue(3) to translate non-numeric data types to numbers and vice versa.
PM_ERR_TRUNC
Truncation in value conversion
Some conversion requests to pmExtractValue(3) cannot be performed based on the metric types and values involved, in this case conversion would result in loss of precision.
PM_ERR_SIGN
Negative value in conversion to unsigned
Some conversion requests to pmExtractValue(3) cannot be performed based on the metric types and values involved, in this case converting a negative value to an unsigned value.
PM_ERR_TYPE
Unknown or illegal metric type
The metric type is held in the metric descriptor and sometimes encoded in the metric values returned from a call to pmFetch(3). Legal values for the metric type are defined by the PM_TYPE_* macros in <pcp/pmapi.h>.
PM_ERR_UNIT
Illegal pmUnits specification
Some conversion requests to pmConvScale(3) cannot be performed due to illegal or incompatible specifications of the source and destination units.
PM_ERR_PROFILE
Explicit instance identifier(s) required
Some PMDAs, especially the proc PMDA, will not return “all instances” for a pmFetch(3) request due to the cost. The client must explicitly built an instance profile using pmAddProfile(3) and/or pmDelProfile(3) before calling pmFetch(3). See also the -F option to pminfo(1).
PM_ERR_INST
Unknown or illegal instance identifier
A request to a PMDA nominates an instance that is unknown. May occur as a consequence of the profile established prior to a pmFetch(3) call, or an explicit instance name or identifier to pmLookupInDom(3) or pmNameInDom(3).
PM_ERR_MODE
Illegal mode specification
Illegal mode argument to pmSetMode(3).
PM_ERR_PROFILESPEC
NULL pmInDom with non-NULL instlist
Bad arguments passed from a PCP client to pmAddProfile(3).
PM_ERR_TOOSMALL
Insufficient elements in list
Parameter passing error by caller specifying a list with less than one element to pmFetch(3), pmLookupName(3) or pmStore(3).
PM_ERR_THREAD
Operation not supported for multi-threaded applications
As documented in PMAPI(3) and elsewhere, some libpcp routines are intended solely for use from single-threaded applications.
PM_ERR_TOOBIG
Result size exceeded
Indicates a fatal error in the message (or PDU) passing protocol between two PCP applications. This is an internal error, and other than an exotic networking failure, should not occur.
PM_ERR_RESET

PMCD reset or configuration change
Not used.

Refer to pmFetch(3) for an alternative mechanism that may be used to notify a PCP client when pmcd(1) has experienced one or more configuration changes since the last request from the client. Usually these changes involve a change to the namespace exported via pmcd and/or changes to the PMDAs under pmcd's control.

PM_ERR_FAULT
QA fault injected
Used only for PCP Quality Assurance (QA) testing.
PM_ERR_NYI
Functionality not yet implemented
Self explanatory and rarely used.
PM_ERR_GENERIC
Generic error, already reported above
Rarely used, this error may be returned when the error condition is a consequent of some earlier returned error and a more precise characterization is not possible.

Client-PMCD Errors

These errors may occur in the interactions between a PCP client and pmcd(1) providing real-time performance data.

PM_ERR_NOAGENT
No PMCD agent for domain of request
A request sent to pmcd(1) requires information from an agent or PMDA that does not exist. Usually this means the namespace being used by the client application contains metric names from a previously installed PMDA.
PM_ERR_CONNLIMIT
PMCD connection limit for this host exceeded
The client connection limit for pmcd(1) is controlled by the optional access controls in $PCP_PMCDCONF_PATH. By default there is no limit imposed by the PCP code, and this error would not be seen.
PM_ERR_AGAIN
Try again. Information not currently available
Used to notify a PCP client that the PMDA responsible for delivering the information is temporarily unavailable. See also PM_ERR_PMDANOTREADY.
PM_ERR_NOPROFILE
Missing profile - protocol botch
Internal error in the communication between a client application and pmcd(1) - should not occur.

Client-Archive Errors

These errors may occur in the interactions between a PCP client and the library routines that provide historical performance data from PCP archives created by pmlogger(1).

PM_ERR_LOGFILE
Missing archive file
Each PCP archive consists of multiple physical files as described in pmlogger(1). This error occurs when one of the physical files is missing or cannot be opened for reading.
PM_ERR_EOL
End of PCP archive log
An attempt is made to read past the end file of the last volume of a set of PCP archives, or past the end of the time window (as specified with a -T option) for a set of PCP archives.
PM_ERR_NOTHOST
Operation requires context with host source of metrics
Operations involving help text (ie. pmLookupText(3) and pmLookupInDomText(3)) or calls to pmStore(3) require a host context and are not supported for PCP archives.
PM_ERR_LOGREC
Corrupted record in a PCP archive log
PCP archives can become corrupted for a variety of reasons, but the most common is premature termination of pmlogger(1) without flushing its output buffers.
PM_ERR_LABEL
Illegal label record at start of a PCP archive log file
Each physical file in a PCP archive should begin with a common label record. This is a special case of PM_ERR_LOGREC errors.
PM_ERR_NODATA
Empty archive log file
An empty physical file can never be part of a valid PCP archive (at least the label record should be present). This is a special case of PM_ERR_LOGREC errors.
PM_ERR_NOTARCHIVE
Operation requires context with archive source of metrics
A call to one of the archive variant routines, i.e. pmFetchArchive(3), pmGetInDomArchive(3), pmLookupInDomArchive(3) or pmNameInDomArchive(3), when the current context is not associated with a set of PCP archives.
PM_ERR_PMID_LOG
Metric not defined in the PCP archive log
A PCP client has requested information about a metric, and there is no corresponding information in the set of PCP archives. This should not happen for well-behaved PCP clients.
PM_ERR_INDOM_LOG

Instance domain identifier not defined in the PCP archive log
A PCP client has requested information about an instance domain for one or more performance metrics, and there is no corresponding information in the set of PCP archives. If the client is using metric descriptors from the set of archives to identify the instance domain, this is less likely to happen.

Because instance domains may vary over time, clients may need to use the variant routines pmGetInDomArchive(3) or pmLookupInDomArchive(3) or pmNameInDomArchive(3) to manipulate the union of the instances in an instance domain over the life of an archive.

PM_ERR_INST_LOG

Instance identifier not defined in the PCP archive log
A PCP client has requested information about a specific instance of a performance metric, and there is no corresponding information in the set of PCP archives. If the client is using instance names from the instance domain in the set of archives (rather than hard-coded instance names) and instance identifiers from the results returned by pmFetch(3) or pmFetchArchive(3) this is less likely to happen.

Because instance domains may vary over time, clients may need to use the variant routines pmLookupInDomArchive(3) or pmNameInDomArchive(3) to manipulate the union of the instances in an instance domain over the life of an archive.

PM_ERR_LOGOVERLAP
Archives overlap in time
When using a context associated with a set of archives, the archives in the set may not overlap in time.
PM_ERR_LOGHOST
Archives differ by host
When using a context associated with a set of archives, the archives in the set must all have been generated on the same host.
PM_ERR_LOGTIMEZONE
Archives differ by time zone
When using a context associated with a set of archives, the archives in the set must all have been generated using the same time zone.
PM_ERR_LOGCHANGETYPE
The type of a metric differs among archives
When using a context associated with a set of archives, the type of each metric must be same in all of the archives.
PM_ERR_LOGCHANGESEM
The semantics of a metric differs among archives
When using a context associated with a set of archives, the semantics of each metric must be same in all of the archives.
PM_ERR_LOGCHANGEINDOM
The instance domain of a metric differs among archives
When using a context associated with a set of archives, the instance domain of each metric must be same in all of the archives.
PM_ERR_LOGCHANGEUNITS
The units of a metric differs among archives
When using a context associated with a set of archives, the units of each metric must be same in all of the archives.

Time Control Errors

These errors may occur in the interactions between a GUI PCP client and the time control services provided by pmtime(1).

PM_ERR_ISCONN
Already Connected
A PCP client application called pmTimeConnect(3) when already connected to a pmtime(1) instance.
PM_ERR_NOTCONN
Not Connected
A PCP client application called one of the time control routines pmTime*(3) when not currently connected to any pmtime(1) instance.
PM_ERR_NEEDPORT
A non-null port name is required
If a shared pmtime(1) instance is being created the port argument to pmTimeConnect(3) must not be invalid.

Namespace Errors

These errors may occur in the processing of PCP namespace operations. A PCP namespace, see pmns(5), provides the external names and the internal identifiers for the available performance metrics.

PM_ERR_NONLEAF
Metric name is not a leaf in PMNS
The metric name passed to pmLookupName(3) names a non-terminal path in the namespace, i.e. a group of metrics rather than a single metric.
PM_ERR_DUPPMNS
Attempt to reload the PMNS
When using an explicit local namespace, it is illegal to call either of pmLoadNameSpace(3) or pmLoadASCIINameSpace(3) more than once.
PM_ERR_PMNS
Problems parsing PMNS definitions
Only occurs when an ASCII namespace is explicitly loaded.
PM_ERR_NOPMNS
PMNS not accessible
Only occurs when an ASCII namespace is explicitly loaded.

PMCD-PMDA Errors

These error codes are used in the interactions between pmcd(1) and the PMDAs that provide the performance data.

PM_ERR_PMDANOTREADY
PMDA is not yet ready to respond to requests
Some PMDAs have long initialization or reset times, and will respond to pmcd(1) with this error if they are busy at the moment. This error translates to PM_ERR_AGAIN for the PCP client who made the request to pmcd which caused the initial request to the PMDA. At some later time the PMDA will inform pmcd (see PM_ERR_PMDAREADY) that it is now ready to process requests, and client requests will begin to succeed.
PM_ERR_PMDAREADY
PMDA is now responsive to requests
Used by PMDAs to asynchronously inform pmcd(1) that they are now willing to resume processing requests. See also PM_ERR_PMDANOTREADY.

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). Values for these variables may be obtained programmatically using the pmGetConfig(3) function.

See Also

pmerr(1), PMAPI(3), pmErrStr(3), pmGetConfig(3), pcp.conf(5) and pcp.env(5).

Referenced By

pcp.conf(5), pcp.env(5), PMAPI(3), pmiErrStr(3), pmns(5), PMWEBAPI(3).

PCP Performance Co-Pilot