pmdbg(1) — Linux manual page


PMDBG(1)                   General Commands Manual                  PMDBG(1)

NAME         top

       pmdbg - report Performance Co-Pilot debug options

SYNOPSIS         top

       pmdbg code ...
       pmdbg -l [-o]
       pmdbg -D name[,name ...]

DESCRIPTION         top

       The components of the Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) use a global
       mechanism to control diagnostic and debug output.  Historically this
       was a vector of bit-fields but this was later replaced by an array of
       debug options.  All of the bit-field debug controls have an
       equivalent in the new scheme, but some new debug options cannot be
       represented in the old bit-field scheme.

       pmdbg with a -l argument prints out all the debug options.  Without
       the -o argument the output lists the name of each option and some
       descriptive text.  Otherwise the output is for only the old bit-
       fields with the mnemonic and decimal values of each the bit-field
       along with some descriptive text.

       pmdbg with a -D argument parses the list of names(s) using
       __pmParseDebug(3) and reports the corresponding decimal value.  This
       use is not required in the new scheme, but for the old bit-fields
       scheme it was useful when debugging and wanting to set the internal
       value of the control vector (pmDebug) via a debugger, e.g.  gdb(1).
       For the new scheme, the same effect can be achieved using the name of
       the option(s) and calling pmSetDebug(3) from within the debugger.

       The alternative usage also relates to the old bit-field scheme and
       the code arguments are values for the debug vector, and the bit-
       fields that are enabled by each of these values is listed.

       Each code may be an integer, a hexadecimal value or a hexadecimal
       value prefixed by either ``0x'' or ``0X''.

       Most applications using the facilities of the PCP support a -D
       name[,name ...]  command-line syntax to enable debug control using
       the name(s) of the desired debug options.

       Alternatively the initial value of the debug control flags may be set
       to either a value N (old scheme) or a comma-separated list if option
       name(s) (new scheme) using the environment variable $PCP_DEBUG.  If
       both mechanisms are used the effect is additive, so the resultant
       flags are those set via $PCP_DEBUG combined with those set via any -D
       command line options.

OPTIONS         top

       The available command line options are:

       -D name, --debug=name
            Parse a comma-separated list of name(s) and report the
            corresponding decimal value(s).

       -l, --list
            List all the debug options.

       -o, --old
            Use old-style output format with -l.

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


       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), pmSetDebug(3), pmClearDebug(3), __pmParseDebug(3),
       pcp.conf(5) and pcp.env(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                            PMDBG(1)

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