pmdashping - "shell-ping" performance metrics domain agent
$PCP_PMDAS_DIR/shping/pmdashping [-C] [-d domain] [-l logfile] [-I interval] [-t timeout]
[-U username] configfile
pmdashping is a Performance Metrics Domain Agent (PMDA) which exports quality of service
and response time measurements for arbitrary commands as might be run from a shell such as
These measurements are intended to be used to quantify service quality and service avail-
ability for those services that are either mission critical or act as early indicators of
adverse system performance.
The sample configuration monitors simple shell commands (exit and date(1)), a short compu-
tationally intensive task using sum(1), a short C compilation, DNS lookup via nslookup(1),
YP lookup via ypcat(1), bind/portmapper service using rpcbind(1), SMTP by connecting to
telnet port 25 and sending an ``expn root'' request, and NNTP by connecting to telnet port
119 and running a ``listgroup'' command.
It is expected that other commands would follow the examples in the sample configuration
file, and most deployments of the pmdashping PMDA are expected to use a customized config-
A brief description of the pmdashping command line options follows:
-C Parse configfile, reporting any errors and exiting with non-zero status if the file
contains syntactical errors.
-d It is absolutely crucial that the performance metrics domain number specified here is
unique and consistent. That is, domain should be different for every PMDA on the one
host, and the same domain number should be used for the same PMDA on all hosts.
-l Location of the log file. By default, a log file named shping.log is written in the
current directory of pmcd(1) when pmdashping is started, i.e. $PCP_LOG_DIR/pmcd. If
the log file cannot be created or is not writable, output is written to the standard
-I Amount of time (in seconds) between subsequent executions of the list of commands
provided via the configuration file configfile. The default is 2 minutes.
-t Amount of time (in seconds) to wait before timing out awaiting a response for a com-
mand from configfile. The default is 20 seconds.
-U User account under which to run the agent and all commands. The default is the
unprivileged "pcp" account in current versions of PCP, but in older versions the
superuser account ("root") was used by default.
The required configfile specifies ``tag'' and ``command'' pairs, each on a separate line.
All of the commands are run one after another, with the whole group rescheduled to be run
once per interval. For each command that is run, pmdashping records information related
to the success (or timeout), exit status, elapsed time and CPU time (system and user), and
this information is exported by the PMDA. The tags are used to identify the individual
commands amongst the values exported by the PMDA, and form the external instance domain
identifiers for the pmdashping metrics which relate to each command.
In order for a host to export the names, help text and values for the shping performance
metrics, do the following as root:
# cd $PCP_PMDAS_DIR/shping
The set of ``tag'' and ``command'' pairs may be specified from a default (sample) configu-
ration file, a customized file or entered interactively as part of the Install script.
If you want to undo the installation, do the following as root:
# cd $PCP_PMDAS_DIR/shping
pmdashping is launched by pmcd(1) and should never be executed directly. The Install and
Remove scripts notify pmcd(1) when the agent is installed or removed.
command line options used to launch pmdashping
default help text file for the shping metrics
example configuration file with a number of common commands
installation script for the pmdashping agent
undo installation script for pmdashping
default log file for error messages and other information from pmdashping
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 config-
uration file, as described in pcp.conf(5).
pmcd(1) and pmgshping(1).
Performance Co-Pilot PCP PMDASHPING(1)