pmrep — performance metrics reporter


pmrep [-12357CdgGHIjkLnprRuUvVxz?] [-4 action] [-6 sort-metric] [-8|-9 limit] [-a archive] [-A align] [--archive-folio folio] [-b|-B space-scale] [-c config] [--container container] [--daemonize] [-e derived] [-E lines] [-f format] [-F outfile] [-h host] [-i instances] [-J rank] [-K spec] [-l delimiter] [-N predicate] [-o output] [-O origin] [-P|-0 precision] [-q|-Q count-scale] [-s samples] [-S starttime] [-t interval] [-T endtime] [-w|-W width] [-X label] [-y|-Y time-scale] [-Z timezone] metricspec [...]


pmrep is a customizable performance metrics reporting tool. Any available performance metric, live or archived, system and/or application, can be selected for reporting using one of the output alternatives listed below together with applicable formatting options.

pmrep collects the selected metric values through the facilities of the Performance Co-Pilot (PCP), see PCPIntro(1). The metrics to be reported are specified on the command line, in a configuration file, or both. Metrics can be automatically converted and scaled using the PCP facilities, either by default or by per-metric scaling specifications. In addition to the existing metrics, derived metrics can be defined using the arithmetic expressions described in pmRegisterDerived(3).

Unless directed to another host by the -h option, pmrep will contact the Performance Metrics Collector Daemon (PMCD, see pmcd(1)) on the local host.

The -a option causes pmrep to use the specified set of archive logs rather than connecting to a PMCD. The -a and -h options are mutually exclusive.

The -L option causes pmrep to use a local context to collect metrics from DSO PMDAs (Performance Metrics Domain Agents, “plugins”) on the local host without PMCD. Only some metrics are available in this mode. The -a, -h, and -L options are mutually exclusive.

The metrics of interest are named in the metricspec argument(s). If a metricspec specifies a non-leaf node in the Performance Metrics Name Space (PMNS), then pmrep will recursively descend the PMNS and report on all leaf nodes (i.e., metrics) for that metricspec. (Use for example pminfo(1) to list all the leaf nodes and their descriptions.)

A metricspec has three different forms. First, on the command line it can start with a colon (“:”) to indicate a metricset to be read from a pmrep configuration file (see pmrep.conf(5)) which can then consist of any number of metricspecs. Second, a metricspec starting with non-colon specifies a PMNS node as described above, optionally followed by metric formatting definitions. This so-called compact form of a metricspec is defined as follows:


A valid PMNS node (metric) is mandatory. It can be followed by a text label used by supporting output targets (currently: stdout, see below). The optional instances definition restricts csv and stdout reporting to the specified instances (so non-matching instances will be filtered). An optional unit/scale is applicable for dimension-compatible, non-string metrics. (See below for supported unit/scale specifications.) By default, cumulative counter metrics are converted to rates, an optional type can be set to raw to disable this rate conversion. For supporting output targets (currently: stdout) a numeric width can be used to set the width of the output column for this metric. Too-wide numeric values for output will not be printed (apart from trailing decimals, numeric values will never be silently truncated). Too-wide strings will be truncated. Then, a metric-specific precision can be provided for numeric non-integer output values. Lastly, a metric-specific limit can be set for filtering numeric values per limit.

As a special case with metrics that are counters with time units (nanoseconds to hours), the unit/scale can be used to change the default reporting (for example, milliseconds / second) to normalize to the range zero to one by setting this to sec (see also -y and -Y).

The following metricspec requests the metric kernel.all.sysfork to be reported under the text label forks, converting to the default rate count/s in an 8 wide column. Although the definitions in this compact form are optional, they must always be provided in the order specified above.


The third form of a metricspec, verbose form, is described and valid only in pmrep.conf(5).

Derived metrics are specified like PMNS leaf node metrics.

Options via environment values (see pmGetOptions(3)) override the corresponding built-in default values (if any). Configuration file options override the corresponding environment variables (if any). Command line options override the corresponding configuration file options (if any).


The available command line options are:

-0 precision, --precision-force=precision

Like -P but this option will override per-metric specifications.

-1, --dynamic-header

Print a new dynamically adjusted header every time changes in availability of metric and instance values occur. By default a static header that never changes is printed once. See also -4, -7, and -E.

-2, --overall-rank

Perform overall ranking of instances in archive. By default ranking (see -J) and reporting happens on each interval. With this option all instances and values are ranked before a summary is reported. See pmlogsummary(1) for further archive summary reporting alternatives, including averages and peak times for values.

-3, --overall-rank-alt

Like -2 but print metric instances in pmrep metricspec format, to allow easily selecting the instances for further investigation.

-4 action, --names-change=action

Specify which action to take on receiving a metric names change event during sampling. These events occur when a PMDA discovers new metrics sometime after starting up, and informs running client tools like pmrep. Valid values for action are update (refresh metrics being sampled), ignore (do nothing - the default behaviour) and abort (exit the program if such an event happens). update implies --dynamic-header.

-5, --ignore-unknown

Silently ignore any metric name that cannot be resolved. At least one metric must be found for the tool to start.

-6, --sort-metric=sort-metric

Specify a sort reference metric to sort output by values with -X. By default sorting order is descending, prepending the metric name with the minus sign (“-”) will change the order to be ascending. See also -J and -N.

-7, --fixed-header

With -X print a fixed header once (unless using -E) including all metrics being reported. Unlike with the default (static) header, only instances with values available are reported. Unlike with the dynamic header, the header is not updated even if values for some metrics later become (un)available. See also -1 and -E.

-8 limit, --limit-filter=limit

Limit results to instances with values above/below limit. A positive integer will include instances with values at or above the limit in reporting. A negative integer will include instances with values at or below the limit in reporting. A value of zero performs no limit filtering. This option will not override possible per-metric specifications. See also -J and -N.

-9 limit, --limit-filter-force=limit

Like -8 but this option will override per-metric specifications.

-a archive, --archive=archive

Performance metric values are retrieved from the set of Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) archive log files identified by the archive argument, which is a comma-separated list of names, each of which may be the base name of an archive or the name of a directory containing one or more archives. See also -u.

-A align, --align=align

Force the initial sample to be aligned on the boundary of a natural time unit align. Refer to PCPIntro(1) for a complete description of the syntax for align.


Read metric source archives from the PCP archive folio created by tools like pmchart(1) or, less often, manually with mkaf(1).

-b scale, --space-scale=scale

Unit/scale for space (byte) metrics, possible values include bytes, Kbytes, KB, Mbytes, MB, and so forth. This option will not override possible per-metric specifications. See also pmParseUnitsStr(3).

-B scale, --space-scale-force=scale

Like -b but this option will override per-metric specifications.

-c config, --config=config

Specify the config file to use. The default is the first found of: ./pmrep.conf, $HOME/.pmrep.conf, $HOME/pcp/pmrep.conf, and $PCP_SYSCONF_DIR/pmrep/pmrep.conf. See pmrep.conf(5).


Fetch performance metrics from the specified container, either local or remote (see -h).

-C, --check

Exit before reporting any values, but after parsing the configuration and metrics and printing possible headers.

-d, --delay

When replaying from an archive, this option requests that the prevailing real-time delay be applied between samples (see -t) to effect a pause, rather than the default behaviour of replaying at full speed.


Daemonize on startup.

-e derived, --derived=derived

Specify derived performance metrics. If derived starts with a slash (“/”) or with a dot (“.”) it will be interpreted as a derived metrics configuration file, otherwise it will be interpreted as comma- or semicolon-separated derived metric expressions. For details see pmLoadDerivedConfig(3) and pmRegisterDerived(3).

-E lines, --repeat-header=lines

Repeat the header every lines of output. See also -1 and -7.

-f format, --timestamp-format=format

Use the format string for formatting the timestamp. The format will be used with Python's datetime.strftime method which is mostly the same as that described in strftime(3). An empty format string (i.e., "") will remove the timestamps from the output. Defaults to %H:%M:%S when using the stdout output target. Defaults to %Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S when using the csv output target.

-F outfile, --output-file=outfile

Specify the output file outfile. See -o.

-g, --separate-header

Output the column number and complete metric information, one-per-line, before printing the metric values.

-G, --no-globals

Do not include global metrics in reporting (see pmrep.conf(5)).

-h host, --host=host

Fetch performance metrics from pmcd(1) on host, rather than from the default localhost.

-H, --no-header

Do not print any headers.

-i instances, --instances=instances

Report only the listed instances from current instances (if present, see also -j). By default all current instances are reported, except when writing an archive (see -o) when all instances, present and future, are reported. This is a global option that is used for all metrics unless a metric-specific instance definition is provided as part of a metricspec. By default single-valued “flat” metrics without multiple instances are still reported as usual, use -v to change this.

The list may consist of one or more comma-separated instances. The instance name may be quoted with single (') or double (") quotes for those cases where the instance name contains commas or whitespace. Note that on the command line when specifying more than one instance, all the names must be quoted.

Multiple -i options are allowed as an alternative way of specifying more than one instance of interest. Regular expressions can also be used.

As an example, the following would report the same instances:

$ pmrep -i "'1 minute','5 minute'" kernel.all.load
$ pmrep -i '"1 minute","5 minute"' kernel.all.load
$ pmrep -i "'1 minute'" -i "'5 minute'" kernel.all.load
$ pmrep kernel.all.load,,"'1 minute','5 minute'"
$ pmrep kernel.all.load,,'"1 minute","5 minute"'

However, this would report only the 1-minute instance:

$ pmrep -i '"1 minute","5 minute"' kernel.all.load,,"1 minute"

But this would report all instances (due to per-metric override):

$ pmrep -i '"1 minute","5 minute"' 'kernel.all.load,,.*'
-I, --ignore-incompat

Ignore incompatible metrics. By default incompatible metrics (that is, their type is unsupported or they cannot be scaled as requested) will cause pmrep to terminate with an error message. With this option all incompatible metrics are silently omitted from reporting. This may be especially useful when requesting non-leaf nodes of the PMNS tree for reporting.

-j, --live-filter

Perform instance live filtering. This allows capturing all filtered instances even if processes are restarted at some point (unlike without live filtering). Performing live filtering over a huge amount of instances will add some internal overhead so a bit of user caution is advised. See also -1 and -n.

-J rank, --rank=rank

Limit results to highest/lowest ranked instances of set-valued metrics. A positive integer will include highest valued instances in reporting. A negative integer will include lowest valued instances in reporting. A value of zero performs no ranking. Ranking does not imply sorting, see -6. See also -2 and -8.

-k, --extended-csv

Write extended CSV output, similar to sadf(1).

-K spec, --spec-local=spec

When fetching metrics from a local context (see -L), the -K option may be used to control the DSO PMDAs that should be made accessible. The spec argument conforms to the syntax described in pmSpecLocalPMDA(3). More than one -K option may be used.

-l delimiter, --delimiter=delimiter

Specify the delimiter that separates each column of csv or stdout output. The default for stdout is two spaces (“  ”) and comma (“,”) for csv. In case of CSV output or stdout output with non-whitespace delimiter, any instances of the delimiter in string values will be replaced by the underscore (“_”) character.

-L, --local-PMDA

Use a local context to collect metrics from DSO PMDAs on the local host without PMCD. See also -K.

-n, --invert-filter

Perform ranking before live filtering. By default instance live filtering (when requested, see -j) happens before instance ranking (when requested, see -J). With this option the logic is inverted and ranking happens before live filtering.

-N predicate, --predicate=predicate

Specify a comma-separated list of predicate filter reference metrics. By default ranking (see -J) happens for each metric individually. With predicates, ranking is done only for the specified predicate metrics. When reporting, rest of the metrics sharing the same instance domain (see PCPIntro(1)) as the predicate will include only the highest/lowest ranking instances of the corresponding predicate. Ranking does not imply sorting, see -6.

So for example, using proc.memory.rss (resident memory size of process) as the predicate metric together with and mem.util.used as metrics to be reported, only the processes using most/least (as per -J) memory will be included when reporting total bytes written by processes. Since mem.util.used is a single-valued metric (thus not sharing the same instance domain as the process-related metrics), it will be reported as usual.

-o output, --output=output

Use output target for reporting. The default target is stdout. The available target alternatives are:


Record metrics into a PCP archive which can later be replayed with PCP tools, including pmrep itself. See LOGARCHIVE(5) and PCPIntro(1) for details about PCP archive files. Requires -F.


Print metrics in CSV format (subject to formatting options).


Print metrics to stdout (format subject to formatting options).

-O origin, --origin=origin

When reporting archived metrics, start reporting at origin within the time window (see -S and -T). Refer to PCPIntro(1) for a complete description of the syntax for origin.

-p, --timestamps

Print timestamps. By default no timestamps are printed.

-P precision, --precision=precision

Use precision for numeric non-integer output values. If the value is too wide for its column width, precision is reduced one by one until the value fits, or not printed at all if it does not. The default is to use 3 decimal places (when applicable). This option will not override possible per-metric specifications.

-q scale, --count-scale=scale

Unit/scale for count metrics, possible values include count x 10^-1, count, count x 10, count x 10^2, and so forth from 10^-8 to 10^7. (These values are currently space-sensitive.) This option will not override possible per-metric specifications. See also pmParseUnitsStr(3).

-Q scale, --count-scale-force=scale

Like -q but this option will override per-metric specifications.

-r, --raw

Output raw metric values, do not convert cumulative counters to rates. When writing archives, raw values are always used. This option will override possible per-metric specifications.

-R, --raw-prefer

Like -r but this option will not override per-metric specifications.

-s samples, --samples=samples

The samples argument defines the number of samples to be retrieved and reported. If samples is 0 or -s is not specified, pmrep will sample and report continuously (in real time mode) or until the end of the set of PCP archives (in archive mode). See also -T.

-S starttime, --start=starttime

When reporting archived metrics, the report will be restricted to those records logged at or after starttime. Refer to PCPIntro(1) for a complete description of the syntax for starttime.

-t interval, --interval=interval

Set the reporting interval to something other than the default 1 second. The interval argument follows the syntax described in PCPIntro(1), and in the simplest form may be an unsigned integer (the implied units in this case are seconds). See also the -T and -u options.

-T endtime, --finish=endtime

When reporting archived metrics, the report will be restricted to those records logged before or at endtime. Refer to PCPIntro(1) for a complete description of the syntax for endtime.

When used to define the runtime before pmrep will exit, if no samples is given (see -s) then the number of reported samples depends on interval (see -t). If samples is given then interval will be adjusted to allow reporting of samples during runtime. In case all of -T, -s, and -t are given, endtime determines the actual time pmrep will run.

-u, --no-interpol

When reporting archived metrics, by default values are reported according to the selected sample interval (-t option), not according to the actual record interval in an archive. To this effect PCP interpolates the values to be reported based on the records in the archive. With the -u option uninterpolated reporting is enabled, every recorded value for the selected metrics is reported and the requested sample interval (-t) is ignored.

So for example, if a PCP archive contains recorded values for every 10 seconds and the requested sample interval is 1 hour, by default pmrep will use an interpolation scheme to compute the values of the requested metrics from the values recorded in the proximity of these requested metrics and values for every 1 hour are reported. With -u every record every 10 seconds are reported as such (the reported values are still subject to rate conversion, use -r or -R to disable).

-U, --no-unit-info

Omit unit information from headers.

-v, --omit-flat

Omit single-valued “flat” metrics from reporting, only consider set-valued metrics (i.e., metrics with multiple values) for reporting. See -i and -I.

-V, --version

Display version number and exit.

-w width, --width=width

Set the stdout output column width. Strings will be truncated to this width. The default width is the shortest that can fit the metric text label, the forced minimum is 3. This option will not override possible per-metric specifications.

-W width, --width-force=width

Like -w but this option will override per-metric specifications.

-x, --extended-header

Print extended header.

-X label, --colxrow=label

Swap columns and rows in stdout output, reporting one instance per line, using label as the text label for instance column (set to an empty string "" to enable swapping without a specific text label). This is convenient to allow easily using grep(1) to filter results or to more closely mimic other utilities. See also -i and -6.

-y scale, --time-scale=scale

Unit/scale for time metrics, possible values include nanosec, ns, microsec, us, millisec, ms, and so forth up to hour, hr. This option will not override possible per-metric specifications. See also pmParseUnitsStr(3).

-Y scale, --time-scale-force=scale

Like -y but this option will override per-metric specifications.

-z, --hostzone

Use the local timezone of the host that is the source of the performance metrics, as identified by either the -h or the -a options. The default is to use the timezone of the local host.

-Z timezone, --timezone=timezone

Use timezone for the date and time. Timezone is in the format of the environment variable TZ as described in environ(7). Note that when including a timezone string in output, ISO 8601 -style UTC offsets are used (so something like -Z EST+5 will become UTC-5).

-?, --help

Display usage message and exit.


The following examples use the standard PCP facilities for collecting the metric values, no external utilities are needed. The referenced colon-starting metricsets are part of the system pmrep.conf file.

Display network interface metrics on the local host:

$ pmrep

Display all outgoing network metrics for the wlan0 interface:

$ pmrep -i wlan0 -v network.interface.out

Display timestamped vmstat(8) like information using megabytes instead of kilobytes and also include the number of inodes used (tab completes available metrics and after a colon metricsets with bash and zsh):

$ pmrep -p -B MB :vmstat vfs.inodes.count

Display per-device disk reads and writes from the host server1 using two seconds interval and sadf(1) like CSV output format:

$ pmrep -h server1 -t 2s -o csv -k

Display processes using at least 100MB of memory using dynamic headers:

$ pmrep -b MB --limit-filter 100 --dynamic-header proc.memory.rss

Display the predefined set of metrics from the default pmrep.conf(5) containing information about I/O issued by current firefox process(es):

$ pmrep -i '.*firefox.*' :proc-io

Display the three most CPU-using processes:

$ pmrep -1gUJ 3 proc.hog.cpu

Display sar -w and sar -W like information at the same time from the PCP archive ./20150921.09.13 showing values recorded between 3 - 5 PM:

$ pmrep -a ./20150921.09.13 -S @15:00 -T @17:00 :sar-w :sar-W

Record most relevant CPU, memory, and I/O related information about every Java process on the system, present and future, to an archive ./a on one minute interval at every full minute in a background process:

$ pmrep --daemonize -A 1m -t 1m -i '.*java.*' -j -o archive -F ./a \
    :proc-info :proc-cpu :proc-mem :proc-io

Record all 389 Directory Server, XFS file system, and CPU/memory/disk metrics every five seconds for five minutes to a PCP archive ./a:

$ pmrep -t 5s -T 5m -o archive -F ./a ds389 xfs kernel.all.cpu mem disk

Record process memory and I/O information for those processes which are the three most memory-consuming processes:

$ pmrep -o archive -F ./a -J 3 -N proc.memory.rss proc.memory



pmrep configuration file (see -c)


system provided pmrep configuration file

PCP Environment

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

mkaf(1), PCPIntro(1), pcp(1), pcp-atop(1), pcp2elasticsearch(1), pcp2graphite(1), pcp2influxdb(1), pcp2json(1), pcp2spark(1), pcp2xlsx(1), pcp2xml(1), pcp2zabbix(1), pmcd(1), pmchart(1), pmcollectl(1), pmdiff(1), pmdumplog(1), pmdumptext(1), pminfo(1), pmiostat(1), pmlogextract(1), pmlogsummary(1), pmprobe(1), pmstat(1), pmval(1), sadf(1), sar(1), pmGetOptions(3), pmSpecLocalPMDA(3), pmLoadDerivedConfig(3), pmParseUnitsStr(3), pmRegisterDerived(3), strftime(3), LOGARCHIVE(5), pcp.conf(5), PMNS(5), pmrep.conf(5), environ(7) and vmstat(8).

Referenced By

parfait(1), pcp2elasticsearch(1), pcp2graphite(1), pcp2influxdb(1), pcp2json(1), pcp2spark(1), pcp2xlsx(1), pcp2xml(1), pcp2zabbix(1), PCPCompat(1), pcp-dstat(1), pcp-dstat(5), PCPIntro(1), pmcd(1), pmchart(1), pmclient(1), pmdumptext(1), pmevent(1), pminfo(1), pmlogger_daily_report(1), pmlogsummary(1), pmmgr(1), pmrep.conf(5), zbxpcp(3).

The man page pcp2csv(1) is an alias of pmrep(1).

PCP Performance Co-Pilot