Sargraph

A free system resources plotter for HP-UX, Solaris and AIX


 

News


October 2004: Development on sargraph has been suspended indefinetely.
Sargraph started as a small project and became used much more than I thought. It will still be available, but I don't have time anymore to develop or test it. For example, there are reports that Solaris 9 doesn't work, but I don't have the time to test it (at least not for now).

If anybody is interested in becoming the new maintaner, please contact me and I will be glad to provide you with webspace.

I can no longer offer decent technical support since I no longer use this tool, sorry.

August 2004: Linux support!
David McCormick contributed a patch to use sargraph with the sysstat package. You can download his script here:
May 2004: Disk statistics can now be plotted on Solaris
Neil McLarty patched sargraph to plot disk statistics extracted from "sar -d" and he tested it with Solaris 8. I no longer have a Sun box so I can't try it myself, but here are his patches in case you would like to try them:
August 2003: New version 2.0 released
Version 2.0 is available, the first update in almost three years. The core functions didn't change much but by popular demand, I decided to make it easier to install and use for those who are not familiar with sar. This version now includes:
  • Much better documentation
  • A "collect" script that you can put in cron to easily collect sar data on a 24-hour period.
  • A "publish" script that publishes the data to a customizable web page (see a demo).
  • A fully working gnuplot is included to ease the installation (HP-UX only)
  • A few bug fixes in the original sargraph


Overview

Sargraph is set of scripts that extract data from the System Activity Reporter and format it for input into gnuplot, a free plotting program. You then have the choice of displaying the resulting plots on an X11 display, generate PNG images or send them to a central server that will plot them for you. Multiple platforms are supported through an export file mechanism; this means that you can use sargraph on an AIX host to plot data that comes from a Sun.

I had the idea to write sargraph back in early 2000 when I didn't find any tools that could do this except for Sarge which wasn't flexible enough. It's no Perfview or Sarcheck, but it's free and licensed under the GPL. Sargraph isn't a complete turnkey solution; consider it as a template to develop your own.

Here is a screenshot of a sample output:

 
 

Supported platforms and required software

Sargraph has been sucessfully tested on the following unices. But I don't have access to anything else than HP-UX machines these days, so on other systems your mileage will vary.

Tested platforms as of August 2003:

  • HP-UX 11i
  • Solaris 8

    Untested, but worked with Sargraph 1.0:

  • Solaris 2.6
  • HP-UX 11.00
  • AIX 4.3

    Reports on the status of more recent platforms (Solaris 8 and 9, AIX 5) are welcome.
     

    Gnuplot is required

    To use sargraph, you need a working gnuplot with X11 and/or PNG support. Sargraph cannot work if you do not have this.

    HP-UX users
    It is hard to locate a binary of gnuplot that works, as the one on the porting center cannot generate png images with the library they have. So I have compiled an x11 and png-enabled gnuplot on an 11i HP-UX system. You can download it (along with the source) here: gnuplot-3.7.3-hpux.tar.gz

    Everybody else on Solaris, AIX or other unices
    I can't help you with this task, sorry. You can check on Sunfreeware or Bull's archive for binaries, or you can grab the source at Gnuplot central. In the latter case, ask your questions on the newsgroup comp.graphics.apps.gnuplot if you have trouble building gnuplot.
     
     

    Quick install instructions

    Download

    Sargraph scripts: sargraph-2.0.tar.gz
    Gnuplot for HP-UX: gnuplot-3.7.3-hpux.tar.gz

    Simply untar the file sargraph-2.0.tar.gz. It will put the files in /opt/sargraph. The HP-UX gnuplot will go in /opt/gnuplot.
     
     

    Installation and user guide

    The installation and user guide are included with sargraph, simply check the /opt/sargraph/doc/userguide.txt file. Or read the online copy.
     

    Faq


    Are there any other tools that can do this?

    There is the commercial sarcheck which now has the same functionality and more such as the possibility of creating a clear text report of your system using basic monitoring tools. I doesn't cost much, the graphs are more detailed and the product is supported, so I suggest you try this one if you're not comfortable with sargraph.

    There used to be a freeware named SARGE which I didn't find as flexible, and it hadn't been updated in years when I started sargraph in 2001. SARGE was the inspiration for sargraph. The product and its author now seems to have vanished.

    Take a look at Orca at http://www.orcaware.com/orca which is complex, but really a great open source solution.

    Finally, the tool I now use is OpenView Performance Manager at http://www.openview.hp.com/products/ovperf. It's perfect for HP-UX environments but hey, it's not free!
     

    Is it possible to plot disk statistics such as those given by sar -d?

    Neil McLarty made a patch for Solaris 8 systems (see above). For other platforms, the answer is no.
     

    When I try to plot a particular metric, gnuplot outputs the following error message:
    Warning: empty y range [0:0], adjusting to [-1:1]

    This happens when you try to plot a value which is always set to zero with no variation.
     

    How come only binary sar files can be read?

    It would be complex to support text files, since the code would have to scan then to find out what report they contain and so on. The binary file contains all sar data in a compact format and is a much better file to start with.
     

    Do you have plans to further enhance this?

    No, but I'll be glad to add contributions and credit you accordingly. I don't use sargraph anymore so I don't have any motivation to continue developing it. If anybody wants to become the maintainer, please e-mail me.
     

    But I don't want to install gnuplot on each server that I want to monitor!

    You don't need to. Check the user guide.

     

    Contact information

    You can reach me at but since I haven't used this in a while, I can no longer answer any technical support issue. Thank you.


    Olivier S. Masse
    March 1st 2001
    Updated on 2004/05/19
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