SUMMARY : questions about sar and performance reporting

From: Amol Karnik (
Date: Fri Jun 19 1998 - 09:23:20 CDT

ok, wow...received quite a few replies, and what was even more
interesting was the number of people who had the same questions as me!
its very strange that native solaris accounting isnt as powerful as it
should be. anyways, here are the summaries.

to turn on accounting on soalris machines you have to uncomment out the
lines from the sys crontab in /var/spool/cron/crontabs/sys.
also uncomment out lines from /etc/init.d/perf and your are all set.
your logs will be kept in /var/adm/sa/sa**

use /bin/sar to view reports. many ppl asked about sag. sag is at
/bin/sag and its supposed to give graphical output from sar. except that
unless you absolutely know what to do, you'll never get it to work.
Rakesh Dinger ( &
came up with the winning replies on how to use sag. here's how. do
xterm -t & . in the new xterm type sag -T tek -f <filename> and finally
sag will give you what you want. however sag's graphs made no sense to
me at all.

a lot of ppl recommended getting Adrian Cockrofts book on Sun
Performance and Tuning, which i will, this weekend.

Ed Finch (efinch@eos.EAST.HITC.COM) said he's working on some perl
scripts to do what sag does, but in an infinitely better format. You can
see them at . I took a look at some
screenshots from the work in progress, and they looked amazing to me.
"sarge" rules, while "sag" sucks big time.
Some other folks recommended using SE Toolkit ( ) from Sun or proctool.
( ). I havent looked at
them yet, but will do so later next week. was also another recommendation.

Steve Kay" <> has written a sar text to gif conversion
program which can be obtained from I compiled
this but couldnt get it to work, but this one looks promising.
other tools to use are vmstat, iostat, nfsstat, /var/adm/pacct

another good resource pointed out was again Adrian Cockcroft's column at

someone also suggested that i should checkthe sun managers archives
look for Rachel Polanski's "sarplot". I checked both and
but got incorrect result from the searches.

once again, this list has proved to be invaluable!

thanks to all who replied!

Rakesh Dinger <>
David Dhunjishaw <>
Ed Finch <efinch@eos.EAST.HITC.COM>
Sajid Virani <>
Rick Reineman <>
Steve Kay" <>
Boyko, Steve" <>
Michael Pavlov <>
Ryan Matteson <>




> OS : Solaris 2.5.1 or Solaris 2.6
> Machines : Ultra 5, Ultra 1 and Ultra2
> hi all,
> i'm trying to come to grips with the sar accounting facility and would
> like to know what resources are available, for trying to understand what
> the output from sar really means.
> I have a network of Ultra's all of which have atleast 384Mb RAM and 1 Gb
> of swap. These are development machines, which are also used for running
> big solver jobs. I want to keep a track of how the machines are
> behaving, with respect to cpu utilization, swapping, memory , disk
> usage, overloading etc, so that all machines can be used equally. I
> turned on sar accounting on all the machines, but the output it gives,
> makes no sense to me. Is there some utility which converts this and
> reports it in human understandable format? That way i can show the
> reports to my boss, and tell him if we need more machines/memory, or ask
> users to switch machines etc.
> also i tried running 'sag' (graphical sar) and it tells me that termnial
> type is unknown. tried setting -T xterm , but that didnt work either.
> i would like to know how you guys maintain and get information about
> machine overusage and the like. any pointers or tips or website links
> would be appreciated.
> i'll send out a summary once i collate the replies!
> thanks!
> amol

Amol Karnik          		   
Senior Development Engineer
Microcosm Technologies, Inc.   (617) 225-0094 x248
215 First St., Suite #2D       (617) 621-7838 FAX
Cambridge MA, 02142  

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