sar2pcp(1) — Linux manual page


SAR2PCP(1)                 General Commands Manual                SAR2PCP(1)

NAME         top

       sar2pcp - import sar data and create a PCP archive

SYNOPSIS         top

       sar2pcp infile outfile

DESCRIPTION         top

       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

       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

NOTES         top

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

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

CAVEATS         top

       When not using the XML input option, sar2pcp requires infile to have
       been created by a version of sadc(1) from 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


       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

       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).

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                          SAR2PCP(1)