newhelp(1) — Linux manual page


NEWHELP(1)                 General Commands Manual                NEWHELP(1)

NAME         top

       newhelp - generate a performance metrics help database

SYNOPSIS         top

       $PCP_BINADM_DIR/newhelp [-V?]  [-n pmnsfile] [-o outputfile] [file

DESCRIPTION         top

       newhelp generates the Performance Co-Pilot help text files used by
       Performance Metric Domain Agents (PMDAs).

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

       When there is only one input file, the base name of the new database
       is derived from the name of the input file, otherwise the -o flag
       must be given to explicitly name the database.  If no input files are
       supplied, newhelp reads from the standard input stream, in which case
       the -o flag must be given.

       If the output file name is determined to be foo, newhelp will create
       foo.dir and foo.pag.

       The -V flag causes verbose messages to be printed while newhelp is
       parsing its input.

       The first line of each entry in a help source file consists of an
       ``@'' character beginning the line followed by a space and then the
       performance metric name and a one line description of the metric.
       Following lines (up to the next line beginning with ``@'' or end of
       file) may contain a verbose help description.  E.g.

            # This is an example of newhelp's input syntax
            @ kernel.all.cpu.idle CPU idle time
            A cumulative count of the number of milliseconds
            of CPU idle time, summed over all processors.

       Three-part numeric metric identifiers (PMIDs) may be used in place of
       metric names, e.g. 60.0.23 rather than kernel.all.cpu.idle in the
       example above.  Other than for dynamic metrics (where the existence
       of a metric is known to a PMDA, but not visible in the PMNS and hence
       has no name that could be known to newhelp) use of this syntactic
       variant is not encouraged.

       Lines beginning with ``#'' are ignored, as are blank lines in the
       file before the first ``@''.  The verbose help text is optional.

       As a special case, a ``metric'' name of the form NNN.MM (for numeric
       NNN and MM) is interpreted as an instance domain identification, and
       the text describes the instance domain.

OPTIONS         top

       The available command line options are:

       -o output, --output=outout
            Specify base name for output files.

       -n pmnsfile, --namespace=pmnsfile
            Load an alternative Performance Metrics Name Space (PMNS(5))
            from the file pmnsfile.

       -V   Print verbose output.

       -?, --help
            Display usage message and exit.

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).

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

SEE ALSO         top

       chkhelp(1), PMAPI(3), pmLookupInDomText(3), pmLookupText(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
       2020-08-13.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that
       was found in the repository was 2020-08-11.)  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                          NEWHELP(1)

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