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  • Packages
    1. Linux Installation (rpm, deb)
    2. Mac OS X Installation (brew)
    3. AIX Installation
    4. Solaris Installation
    5. Windows Installation
  • Building from source
  • Post-install steps
  • Non-default build, install and run

This document describes how to configure and build the open source PCP package from source, and how to install and finally run it.

1. Linux Installation

If you are using Debian, or a Debian-based distribution like Ubuntu, PCP is included in the distribution (as of late 2008). Run:

# apt-get install pcp

If you are using a RPM based distribution and have the binary rpm:

# rpm -Uvh pcp-*.rpm

... and skip to the final section (below) - "Post-install steps".

Special note for Ubuntu 8.04, 8.10, 9.04, 9.10 and 10.04

I've had to make the changes below to /usr/bin/dpkg-buildpackage. Without these two changes, my pcp builds produce bad binaries with a bizarre array of failure modes!

my $default_flags = defined $build_opts->{noopt} ? "-g -O0" : "-g
my $default_flags = defined $build_opts->{noopt} ? "-g -O0" : "-g -O0";
my %flags = ( CPPFLAGS => '',
              CFLAGS   => $default_flags,
              CXXFLAGS => $default_flags,
              FFLAGS   => $default_flags,
              #kenj# LDFLAGS  => '-Wl,-Bsymbolic-functions',
              LDFLAGS  => '',

Without these changes, we see QA failures for 039, 061, 072, 091, 135, 147 and 151 ... and the QA 166 goes into a loop until it fills up the root filesystem.

-- Ken

2. Mac OS X Installation

Installing PCP on MacOSX is done via commands. From a Terminal run:

$ brew install qt
$ brew link qt --force
$ brew install pcp
$ brew link pcp
$ pcp --version

The output for the last command will be something like

pcp version 4.1.1

Use the version number for creating symlinks (for version 4.1.1)

$ export version="4.1.1"
$ sudo ln -s /usr/local/Cellar/pcp/$version/etc/pcp.conf /etc/pcp.conf
$ sudo ln -s /usr/local/Cellar/pcp/$version/etc/pcp.env /etc/pcp.env

3. AIX Installation

At this stage, noone is making available pre-built AIX packages. A port to AIX has been done, and merged, however - building from the source is currently the only option. The packaging work is also begun on this platform (see the build/aix/ directory in the sources).

4. Solaris Installation

Prebuild Solaris packages are available from the PCP download site.

At this stage the package are distributed as SVR4 package datastream and are built on Open Solaris.

You can install the package using 'pkgadd' command, e.g.:

	# pkgadd -d pcp-X.Y.Z

During the installation the following three services are registered with the Solaris' service management facility:

	# svccfg list \*/pcp/\*

On the new installation all services are disabled, during the upgrade from the previous version of PCP the state of the services is preserved.

Use of 'svcadm' command to enable or disable is preferred over explicit invocation of the pmcd start script.

Use 'svcs' command to check the state of the services, e.g.:

	# svcs -l application/pcp/pcp
	fmri         svc:/application/pcp/pcp:default
	name         Performance Co-Pilot Collector Daemon
	enabled      false
	state        disabled
	next_state   none
	state_time   20 March 2012 11:33:27 AM EST
	restarter    svc:/system/svc/restarter:default
	dependency   require_all/none svc:/system/filesystem/local:default (online) svc:/milestone/network:default (online)

5. Windows Installation

There are 3 ways to get PCP working on Windows:

  1. Download the native Windows version of PCP from

  2. Set up PCP build environment manually. For that you can:

  1. Same as 2 except building the PCP pacman package from source

Building from source

0. Preliminaries

The PCP code base is targeted for many different operating systems and many different combinations of related packages, so a little planning is needed before launching into a build from source.

Package dependencies come in several flavours:

  • hard build dependencies - without these PCP cannot be build from source, and the build will fail in various ways at the compilation or packaging stages, e.g. gmake, autoconf, flex, bison, ...;

  • optional build dependences - if these components are not installed the build will work, but the resultant packages may be missing some features or entire applications, e.g. extended authentication, secure connections, service discovery, REST API, ...;

  • QA dependencies - you can ignore these unless you want to run the (extensive) PCP QA suite.

It is strongly recommended that you run the script:

$ qa/admin/check-vm

and review the output before commencing a build. It is is generally safe to ignore packages marked as "N/A" (not available), "build optional" or "QA optional". Alternatively use:

$ qa/admin/check-vm -bfp

(-b for basic packages, -f to not try to guess Python, Perl, ... version and -p to output just package names) to produce a minimal list of packages that should be installed.

1. Configure, build and install the package

The pcp package uses autoconf/configure and expects a GNU build environment (your platform must at least have gmake).

If you just want to build a .rpm, .deb, .dmg, .msi[*] and/or tar file, use the "Makepkgs" script in the top level directory. This will configure and build the package for your platform and leave binary and src packages in either the build/ directory or the pcp-/build/ directory. It will also leave a source tar file in either the build/tar directory or the pcp-/build/tar directory.

$ ./Makepkgs --verbose
$ ./Makepkgs --verbose --target mingw64

Once "Makepkgs" completes you will have package binaries that will need to be installed. The recipe depends on the packaging flavour, but the following should provide guidance:

dkg install (Debian and derivative distributions)

$ cd build/deb
$ dpkg -i *.deb

rpm install (RedHat, SuSE and their derivative distributions)

$ cd pcp-<version>/build/rpm
$ sudo rpm -U `echo *.rpm | sed -e '/\.src\.rpm$/d'`

tarball install (where we don't have native packaging working yet)

$ cd pcp-<version>/build/tar
$ here=`pwd`
$ tarball=$here/pcp-[0-9]*[0-9].tar.gz
$ sudo ./preinstall
$ cd /
$ sudo tar -zxpf $tarball
$ cd $here
$ sudo ./postinstall

[*] Windows builds require cross-compilation. Currently packaging is no longer performed, although previously MSI builds were possible. Work on tackling this short-coming would be most welcome.

Base package list needed for Fedora (26+) cross-compilation: mingw64-gcc mingw64-binutils mingw64-qt5-qttools-tools mingw64-qt5-qtbase-devel mingw64-pkg-config mingw64-readline mingw64-xz-libs mingw64-qt5-qtsvg mingw64-pdcurses mingw64-libgnurx

Since Fedora 28, there are also Python packages available:


2. Account creation

If you want to build the package and install it manually you will first need to ensure the "user" pcp is created so that key parts of the PCP installation can run as a user other than root. For Debian this means the following (equivalent commands are available on all distributions):

$ su root
# groupadd -r pcp
# useradd -c "Performance Co-Pilot" -g pcp -d /var/lib/pcp -M -r -s /usr/sbin/nologin pcp

Then use the following steps (use configure options to suit your preferences, refer to the qa/admin/myconfigure script for some guidance and see also section D below for additional details):

$ ./configure --prefix=/usr --libexecdir=/usr/lib --sysconfdir=/etc \
	     --localstatedir=/var --with-rcdir=/etc/init.d
$ make
$ su root
# make install

Note 0: PCP services run as non-root by default. Create unprivileged users "pcp" with home directory /var/lib/pcp, and "pcpqa" with home directory such as /var/lib/pcp/testsuite, or as appropriate, or designate other userids in the pcp.conf file.

Note 1: that there are so many "install" variants out there that we wrote our own script (see "install-sh" in the top level directory), which works on every platform supported by PCP.

Note 2: the Windows build is particularly involved to setup, this is primarily due to build tools not being available by default on that platform. See the PCP Glider scripts and notes in the pcpweb tree to configure your environment before attempting to build from source under Win32.

Post-install steps

You will need to start the PCP Collection Daemon (PMCD), as root:


# systemctl start pmcd  (or...)
# service pmcd start  (or...)
# /etc/init.d/pmcd start  (or...)
# /etc/rc.d/init.d/pmcd start

Mac OS X:

# /Library/StartupItems/pcp/pmcd start


$PCP_DIR/etc/pmcd start


# svcadm enable application/pcp/pmcd

Once you have started the PMCD daemon, you can list all performance metrics using the pminfo(1) command, E.g.

# pminfo -fmdt   (you don't have to be root for this, but you may need to
		  type rehash so your shell finds the pminfo command).

If you are writing scripts, you may find the output from pmprobe(1) easier to parse than that for pminfo(1). There are numerous other PCP client tools included.

PCP can be configured to automatically log certain performance metrics for one or more hosts. The scripts to do this are documented in pmlogger_check(1). By default this facility is not enabled. If you want to use it, you need to

  • determine which metrics to log and how often you need them
  • edit $PCP_SYSCONF_DIR/pmlogger/control
  • edit $PCP_SYSCONF_DIR/pmlogger/config.default
  • (and any others in same dir)
  • as root, "crontab -e" and add something like:
# -- typical PCP log management crontab entries
# daily processing of pmlogger archives and pmie logs
10      0       *       *       *       $PCP_BINADM_DIR/pmlogger_daily
15      0       *       *       *       $PCP_BINADM_DIR/pmie_daily
# every 30 minutes, check pmlogger and pmie instances are running
25,40   *       *       *       *       $PCP_BINADM_DIR/pmlogger_check
5,55    *       *       *       *       $PCP_BINADM_DIR/pmie_check

The pmie (Performance Metrics Inference Engine) daemon is not configured to start by default. To enable it, you may want to (on Linux platforms with chkconfig).

# su root
# chkconfig pmie on
# edit the pmie control file (usually below $PCP_SYSCONF_DIR/pmie)
# edit the config file (usually $PCP_SYSCONF_DIR/pmie/config.default)
# set up cron scripts similar to those for pmlogger (see above)

Configure some optional Performance Metrics Domain Agents (PMDAs)

The default installation gives you the metrics for cpu, per-process, file system, swap, network, disk, memory, interrupts, nfs/rpc and others. These metrics are handled using the platform PMDA - namely (Linux), pmda_darwin.dylib (Mac), or pmda_windows.dll (Windows). It also gives you the PMCD PMDA, which contains metrics that monitor PCP itself.

There are many other optional PMDAs that you can configure, depending on which performance metrics you need to monitor, as follows: Note: $PCP_PMDAS_DIR is normally /var/pcp/pmdas, see pcp.conf(5).

Web Server metrics

# su root
# cd $PCP_PMDAS_DIR/apache  (i.e. cd /var/pcp/pmdas/apache)
# ./Install
# Check everything is working OK
# pminfo -fmdt apache

Other PMDAs in the pcp package include:

  • apache - monitor apache web server stats

  • cisco - monitor Cisco router stats

  • dbping - query any database, extract response times

  • elasticsearch - monitor an elasticsearch cluster

  • kvm - monitor kernel-based virtual machine stats

  • mailq - monitor the mail queue

  • memcache - monitor memcache server stats

  • mmv - export memory-mapped value stats from an application

  • mounts - keep track of mounted file systems

  • mysql - monitor MySQL relational databases

  • oracle - monitor Oracle relational databases

  • postgres - monitor PostGreSQL relational databases

  • process - keep an eye on critical processes/daemons

  • roomtemp - monitor room temp (needs suitable probe)

  • rsyslog - monitor the reliable system log daemon

  • sendmail - monitor sendmail statistics

  • shping - ping critical system services, extract response times

  • trace - for instrumenting arbitrary applications, see pmtrace(1)

  • txmon - transaction and QOS monitoring

  • statsd - StatsD protocol data collector

  • sample - for testing

  • simple - example src code if you want to write a new PMDA

  • trivial - even easier src code for a new PMDA.

The procedure for configuring all of these is to change to the directory for the PMDA (usually below /var/lib/pcp/pmdas), and then run the ./Install script found therein. None of these PMDAs are configured by default - you choose the PMDAs you need and run the Install script. Installation can be automated (defaults chosen) by touching .NeedInstall in the appropriate pmdas directory and then restarting the pmcd service via its startup script.

Non-default build, install and run

To run build and run a version of PCP that is installed in a private location (and does not require root privileges), first create the pcp "user" as described in section B.2 above), then

$ ./configure --prefix=/some/path

This will populate /some/path with a full PCP installation. To use this ensure the following are set in the environment:

$ export PCP_DIR=/some/path

Amend your shell's $PATH to include the PCP directories, found as follows:

$ cd /some/path
$ xtra=`grep '^PCP_BIN' etc/pcp.conf | sed -e 's/.*=//' | paste -s -d :`
$ PATH=$xtra:$PATH

Ensure the new libraries can be found:

$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=`grep '^PCP_LIB' etc/pcp.conf \
     | sed -e 's/.*=//' | uniq | paste -s -d :`

Tell Perl where to find loadable modules:

$ export PERL5LIB=$PCP_DIR/usr/lib/perl5:$PCP_DIR/usr/share/perl5

Allow man(1) to find the PCP manual pages:

$ export MANPATH=`manpath`:$PCP_DIR/usr/share/man

If your version is co-exiting with a running PCP in a default install, then alternative port numbers in your environment for pmcd ($PMCD_PORT), pmlogger ($PMLOGGER_PORT) and pmproxy ($PMPROXY_PORT)