PMPROBE(1)                 General Commands Manual                PMPROBE(1)

NAME         top

       pmprobe - lightweight probe for performance metrics

SYNOPSIS         top

       pmprobe [-fFIiLVvz] [-a archive] [-b batchsize] [-h hostname] [-K
       spec] [-n pmnsfile] [-O time] [-Z timezone] [metricname ...]

DESCRIPTION         top

       pmprobe determines the availability of performance metrics exported
       through the facilities of the Performance Co-Pilot (PCP).

       The metrics of interest are named in the metricname arguments.  If
       metricname is a non-leaf node in the Performance Metrics Name Space
       (pmns(5)), then pmprobe will recursively descend the PMNS and report
       on all leaf nodes.  If no metricname argument is given, the root of
       the namespace is used.

       This recursive expansion of the PMNS can be inhibited by the -F (go
       faster) option, which reduces the number of roundtrips to pmcd(1)
       when the metricname arguments are known to be leaf nodes ahead of

       The output format is spartan and intended for use in wrapper scripts
       creating configuration files for other PCP tools.  By default, there
       is one line of output per metric, with the metric name followed by a
       count of the number of available values.  Error conditions are
       encoded as a negative value count (as per the PMAPI(3) protocols, but
       may be decoded using pmerr(1)) and followed by a textual description
       of the error.

       Unless directed to another host by the -h option, pmprobe will
       contact the Performance Metrics Collector Daemon (PMCD) on the local

       The -a option causes pmprobe to use the specified set of archives
       rather than connecting to a PMCD.  The argument is a comma-separated
       list of names, each of which may be the base name of an archive or
       the name of a directory containing one or more archives.  The -a and
       -h options are mutually exclusive.

       The -b/--batch option may be used to define the maximum size of the
       group of metrics to be fetched in a single request for the
       -v/--values option.  This batching is also applied to the
       pmLookupName(3) request that pmprobe calls with the list of leaf
       metric names, to avoid exceeding the maximum PDU length supported by
       pmcd(1) for client requests.  This can be important for pmlogconf(1),
       which uses pmprobe to enumerate the set of metrics to be logged by
       pmlogger(1).  The default value for batchsize is 128.  This option is
       useful to avoid limitations on PDU request sizes and also to stagger
       fetches, which may otherwise timeout if pmcd(1) or a PMDA is slow to
       respond, particularly if a large number of metrics are probed.

       The -L option causes pmprobe to use a local context to collect
       metrics from PMDAs on the local host without PMCD.  Only some metrics
       are available in this mode.  The -a, -h and -L options are mutually

       Normally pmprobe operates on the distributed Performance Metrics Name
       Space (PMNS), however, if the -n option is specified an alternative
       local PMNS file is loaded from the file pmnsfile.

       Other options control the output of additional information when one
       or more values is available.

       -f   When used with -i or -I the set of instances reported will be
            all of those known at the source of the performance data.  By
            default the set of reported instances are those for which values
            are currently available, which may be smaller than the set
            reported with -f.

       -I   Report the external identifiers for each instance.  The literal
            string PM_IN_NULL is reported for singular metrics.

       -i   Report the internal identifiers for each instance.  The values
            are in decimal and prefixed by ``?''.  As a special case, the
            literal string PM_IN_NULL is reported for singular metrics.

       -K   When using the -L option to fetch metrics from a local context,
            the -K option may be used to control the DSO PMDAs that should
            be made accessible.  The spec argument conforms to the syntax
            described in pmSpecLocalPMDA(3).  More than one -K option may be

       -O   When used in conjunction with an archive source of metrics and
            the -v option the time argument defines a time origin at which
            the metrics should be fetched from the archive(s).  Refer to
            PCPIntro(1) for a complete description of this option, and the
            syntax for the time argument.

       -v   Report the value for each instance, as per the formatting rules
            of pmPrintValue(3).  When fetching from a set of archives, only
            those instances present in the first archive record for a metric
            will be displayed; see also the -O option.

       The -v option is mutually exclusive with either the -I or -i options.

       The -V option provides a cryptic summary of the number of messages
       sent and received across the PMAPI interface.

EXAMPLES         top

       $ pmprobe 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

       $ pmprobe -I 2 "dks0d1" "dks0d2" 2 "dks0d1" "dks0d2" 1 PM_IN_NULL

       $ pmprobe -v pmcd.numagents pmcd.version pmcd.control.timeout
       pmcd.numagents 1 9
       pmcd.version 1 "2.0 beta-1"
       pmcd.control.timeout 1 5

       $ pmprobe -v -1012 Unknown metric name 1 4992466

FILES         top

                 default PMNS specification files


       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         top

       PCPIntro(1), pmcd(1), pmdumplog(1), pminfo(1), PMAPI(3), pmErrStr(3),
       pmSpecLocalPMDA(3), pcp.conf(5), pcp.env(5) and pmns(5).

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the PCP (Performance Co-Pilot) project.
       Information about the project can be found at ⟨⟩.
       If you have a bug report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained from the project's upstream
       Git repository ⟨⟩ on
       2019-07-28.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that
       was found in the repository was 2019-07-26.)  If you discover any
       rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe
       there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Performance Co-Pilot                 PCP                          PMPROBE(1)

Pages that refer to this page: pcp-collectl(1)pcp-dstat(1)pminfo(1)pmrep(1)pmtrace(1)pmdatrace(3)pcp-dstat(5)