KERNEL_PMDAS(1) General Commands Manual KERNEL_PMDAS(1)

pmdaaix, pmdadarwin, pmdafreebsd, pmdalinux, pmdanetbsd, pmdasolaris, pmdawindows - operating system kernel performance metrics domain agents

$PCP_PMDAS_DIR/aix/pmdaaix [-d domain] [-l logfile] [-U username]
$PCP_PMDAS_DIR/darwin/pmdadarwin [-d domain] [-l logfile] [-U username]
$PCP_PMDAS_DIR/freebsd/pmdafreebsd [-d domain] [-l logfile] [-U username]
$PCP_PMDAS_DIR/linux/pmdalinux [-A] [-d domain] [-l logfile] [-U username]
$PCP_PMDAS_DIR/netbsd/pmdanetbsd [-d domain] [-l logfile] [-U username]
$PCP_PMDAS_DIR/solaris/pmdasolaris [-d domain] [-l logfile] [-U username]
$PCP_PMDAS_DIR/windows/pmdawindows [-d domain] [-l logfile] [-U username]

Each supported platform has a kernel Performance Metrics Domain Agent (PMDA) which extracts performance metrics from the kernel of that platfrom. A variety of platform-specific metrics are available, with an equally varied set of access mechanisms - typically this involves special system calls, or reading from files in kernel virtual filesystems such as the Linux sysfs and procfs filesystems.

The platform kernel PMDA is one of the most critical components of the PCP installation, and must be as efficient and reliable as possible. In all installations the default kernel PMDA will be installed as a shared library and thus executes directly within the pmcd(1) process. This slightly reduces overheads associated with querying the metadata and values associated with these metrics (no message passing is required).

Unlike many other PMDAs, the kernel PMDA exports a number of metric namespace subtrees, such as kernel, network, swap, mem, ipc, filesys, nfs, disk and hinv (hardware inventory).

Despite usually running as shared libraries, most installations also include a stand-alone executable for the kernel PMDA. This is to aid profiling and debugging activities, with dbpmda(1) for example. In this case (but not for shared libraries), the following command line options are available:

Disables use of the credentials provided by PMAPI client tools, and simply runs everything under the "root" account. Only enable this option if you understand the risks involved, and are sure that all remote accesses will be from benevolent users. If enabled, unauthenticated remote PMAPI clients will be able to access potentially sensitive performance metric values which an unauthenticated PMAPI client usually would not be able to. Refer to CVE-2012-3419 for additional details.
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.
Location of the log file. By default, a log file named [platform].log is written in the current directory of pmcd(1) when pmda[platform] 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 error instead.
User account under which to run the agent. The default is either the privileged "root" account on some platforms (Linux, for example) or the unprivileged "pcp" account (wherever possible).

Access to the names, help text and values for the kernel performance metrics is available by default - unlike most other agents, no action is required to enable them and they should not be removed.

default help text file for the the kernel metrics
default log file for error messages and other information from the kernel PMDA.

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).

PCPIntro(1), dbpmda(1), pmcd(1), pcp.conf(5) and pcp.env(5).

PCP Performance Co-Pilot