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Graphit is a tool that reads time-based numeric data over a network
socket and plots it in near real-time.

Here's a screenshot:

I'm in the unfortunate position of being a systems administrator by
day, and that means keeping an eye on lots of different things--load
averages, number of Apache processes, number of threads for certain
applications, things like that.  Tools like RRDTool do a great job of
gathering and plotting data, but they're not really designed for
real-time visualisation.  I wanted something I could stare at in the
quieter moments.

Graphit uses the wonderful JFreeChart (
to do its plotting.  The other bits (the easy bits) are Clojure code to
handle reading data from a socket, tracking multiple graphs, and that
sort of thing.

Building it

Thanks to the wonders Of Leiningen and Clojars this should be easy to
build.  The steps:

  1.  Get Leiningen from and put
      the 'lein' script somewhere in your $PATH.

  2.  From graphit's root directory, run `lein uberjar'.  Lein will grab
      all required dependencies and produce a `graphit.jar'.

      Note: Thanks to Java's AWT madness you seem to need your DISPLAY
        environment variable set to even compile the thing.

  3.  Run the jar with, for example:

        java -jar graphit.jar --redraw 2000 --port 6666

      This will redraw all graphs once every two seconds, and will
      listen on port 666 for data.

Trying it out

Once Graphit is running, you can plot some random lines just by using
bash and netcat:


  while [ 1 ]; do
    for i in 1 2 3; do
      for j in 1 2 3; do
        echo -e "graph$i\t$j\t$RANDOM"
    sleep 1
  done | nc localhost 6666

And that's about all there is to know: you connect to Graphit on its
port, send it one-reading per line in either this format:

  name of graph[tab]name of line[tab]y value

or this one:

  name of graph[tab]x value[tab]name of line[tab]y value  

or if you want to do times:

  name of graph[tab]time string[tab]name of line[tab]y value[tab]SimpleDateFormat string

JFreeChart gives some niceties for free: you can drag a rectangle to
zoom in, hold down control and click+drag to pan around, right click to
get a context menu.  All sorts of wonderful things.

The end.  Thanks for reading.


Graph time-based numeric data in near real-time






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