pmie_check, pmie_daily — administration of the Performance Co-Pilot inference engine


$PCP_BINADM_DIR/pmie_check [-CNsTV?] [-c control] [-l logfile]
$PCP_BINADM_DIR/pmie_daily [-NV?] [-c control] [-k discard] [-l logfile] [-m addresses] [-x compress] [-X program] [-Y regex]


This series of shell scripts and associated control files may be used to create a customized regime of administration and management for the Performance Co-Pilot (see PCPintro(1)) inference engine, pmie(1).

pmie_daily is intended to be run once per day, preferably in the early morning, as soon after midnight as practicable. Its task is to rotate the log files for the running pmie processes - these files may grow without bound if the “print” action is used, or any other pmie action writes to its stdout/stderr streams. After some period, old pmie log files are discarded. This period is 14 days by default, but may be changed using the -k/--discard option. Two special values are recognized for the period (discard), namely 0 to keep no log files beyond the current one, and forever to prevent any log files being discarded.

Log files can optionally be compressed after some period (compress), to conserve disk space. This is particularly useful for large numbers of pmie processes under the control of pmie_check. The -x/--compress-after option specifies the number of days after which to compress archive data files, and the -X option specifies the program to use for compression - by default this is xz(1). Use of the -Y/--regex option allows a regular expression to be specified causing files in the set of files matched for compression to be omitted - this allows only the data file to be compressed, and also prevents the program from attempting to compress it more than once. The default regex is ".(meta|index|Z|gz|bz2|zip|xz|lzma|lzo|lz4)$" - such files are filtered using the -v option to egrep(1).

Use of the -m/--mail option causes pmie_daily to construct a summary of the log files generated for all monitored hosts in the last 24 hours (lines matching “ OK ” are culled), and e-mail that summary to the set of space-separated addresses.

pmie_check may be run at any time, and is intended to check that the desired set of pmie(1) processes are running, and if not to re-launch any failed inference engines. Use of the -s/--stop option provides the reverse functionality, allowing the set of pmie processes to be cleanly shutdown. Use of the -C option queries the system service runlevel information for pmie, and uses that to determine whether to start processes.

Both pmie_check and pmie_daily are controlled by PCP inference engine control file(s) that specify the pmie instances to be managed. The default control file is $PCP_PMIECONTROL_PATH but an alternate may be specified using the -c/--control option. If the directory $PCP_PMLOGGERCONTROL_PATH.d (or control.d from the -c/--control option) exists, then the contents of any additional control files therein will be appended to the main control file (which must exist).

Warning: The $PCP_PMIECONTROL_PATH and $PCP_PMIECONTROL_PATH.d files must not be writable by any user other than root.

The control file(s) should be customized according to the following rules that define for the current version (1.1) of the control file format.

  1. Lines beginning with a “#” are comments.
  2. Lines beginning with a “$” are assumed to be assignments to environment variables in the style of sh(1), and all text following the “$” will be eval'ed by the script reading the control file, and the corresponding variable exported into the environment. This is particularly useful to set and export variables into the environment of the administrative script, e.g.

  3. There must be a version line in the initial control file of the form:

    $ version=1.1
  4. There should be one line in the control file(s) for each pmie instance of the form:

    host y|n y|n logfile args
  5. Fields within a line of the control file(s) are separated by one or more spaces or tabs.
  6. The first field is the name of the host that is the default source of the performance metrics for this pmie instance.
  7. The second field indicates if this is a primary pmie instance (y) or not (n). Since the primary inference engine must run on the local host, and there may be at most one primary for a particular host, this field can be y for at most one pmie instance, in which case the host name must be the name of the local host. When generating pmie configuration files, the primary clause indicates that pmieconf(1) should enable all rules in the primary group, in addition to all other default rules.
  8. The third field indicates whether this pmie instance needs to be started under the control of pmsocks(1) to connect to a pmcd through a firewall (y or n).
  9. The fourth field is the name of the pmie activity log file. A useful convention is that pmie instances monitoring the local host with hostname myhost are maintained in the directory $PCP_LOG_DIR/pmie/myhost, while activity logs for the remote host mumble are maintained in $PCP_LOG_DIR/pmie/mumble. This is consistent with the way pmlogger(1) maintains its activity logs and archive files.
  10. All other fields are interpreted as arguments to be passed to pmie(1). Most typically this would be the -c option.

The following sample control lines specify one pmie instance monitoring the local host (wobbly), and another monitoring performance metrics from the host splat.

wobbly  n  PCP_LOG_DIR/pmie/wobbly  -c config.default
splat   n  PCP_LOG_DIR/pmie/splat   -c splat/cpu.conf

Typical crontab(5) entries for periodic execution of pmie_daily and pmie_check are given in $PCP_SYSCONF_DIR/pmie/crontab (unless installed by default in /etc/cron.d already) and shown below.

# daily processing of pmie logs
08      0       *       *       *       $PCP_BINADM_DIR/pmie_daily
# every 30 minutes, check pmie instances are running
28,58   *       *       *       *       $PCP_BINADM_DIR/pmie_check

In order to ensure that mail is not unintentionally sent when these scripts are run from cron(8) diagnostics are always sent to log files. By default, these files are $PCP_LOG_DIR/pmie/pmie_daily.log and $PCP_LOG_DIR/pmie/pmie_check.log but this can be changed using the -l option. If this log file already exists when the script starts, it will be renamed with a .prev suffix (overwriting any log file saved earlier) before diagnostics are generated to the new log file.

The output from the cron execution of the scripts may be extended using the -V/--verbose option to the scripts which will enable verbose tracing of their activity. By default the scripts generate no output unless some error or warning condition is encountered.

The -N/--showme option enables a “show me” mode, where the actions are echoed, but not executed, in the style of “make -n”. Using -N in conjunction with -V/--verbose maximizes the diagnostic capabilities for debugging.



the default PCP inference engine control file
Warning: this file must not be writable by any user other than root.


optional directory containing additional PCP inference engine control files, typically one per host
Warning: this files herein must not be writable by any user other than root.


sample crontab for automated script execution by $PCP_USER (or root) - exists only if the platform does not support the /etc/cron.d mechanism.


default pmlogger configuration file location for a localhost inference engine, typically generated automatically by pmieconf(1).


default location for the pmie log file for the host hostname


transient lock file to guarantee mutual exclusion during pmie administration for the host hostname - if present, can be safely removed if neither pmie_daily nor pmie_check are running


PCP “notices” file used by pmie(1) and friends

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).

See Also

egrep(1), PCPintro(1), pmie(1), pmieconf(1), xz(1) and cron(8).

Referenced By

PCPIntro(1), pmie(1), pmieconf(1), pmiestatus(1), pmmgr(1).

The man page pmie_daily(1) is an alias of pmie_check(1).

PCP Performance Co-Pilot