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Helpful Hints for Graphing with SarCheck

Here are some helpful hints for users of SarCheck. This page assumes that you're already familiar with SarCheck.

  • SarCheck uses gnuplot 3.7 through 4.8 to generate graphs and assumes that gnuplot can be found in /usr/local/bin. If gnuplot is located somewhere else, use GNUPLOTDIR as the keyword and enter the name of the directory in the sarcheck_parms file. For example, if the gnuplot executable is /opt/gnuplot/bin/X11/gnuplot, a line in the sarcheck_parms file should be GNUPLOTDIR /opt/gnuplot/bin/X11
  • If you're using gnuplot version 4 or newer, use GNUPLOT as the keyword followed by a space and a "4.x" in the sarcheck_parms file. For example, if the gnuplot executable is version 4.0, a line in the sarcheck_parms file should be GNUPLOT 4.0
    Be sure to use 4.0, 4.2, etc. and not actually 4.x
  • To create JPEG graphs, use the -jpg or -jpeg keywords. To create PNG graphs, use the -png keyword. If you use these switches without the -html switch, the graphs will be created in your working directory. If you want them to go someplace else, use the sarcheck_parms keyword GRAPHDIR. If you use these switches with the -html switch, the graphs will be embedded in the HTML output with <img> tags.
  • The gnuplot utility is available from many places. We did our testing using precompiled binaries that are available here but these binaries are very old and you should be able to find something better.
  • We don't support the gnuplot terminal type of gif and have never tried it. Since the production of gif graphics used to fall under a Unisys patent, we decided to avoid it when we developed SarCheck. It's gnuplot that generates graphs, not SarCheck.
  • The error message "unknown or ambiguous terminal type" means that your copy of gnuplot doesn't support the type of graphs that you want to make. To see what kind of graphs are supported by your copy of gnuplot, run gnuplot and type set terminal at the prompt. We did our testing using precompiled binaries that are available here and they work well for creating both PNG and JPEG graphs.
  • To create a SarCheck HTML report with graphs and move it to another system, follow these steps:
  • UNIX Example:
    1. Pick or create an empty directory to hold the HTML and graphs. For this example, we’ll use the directory /tmp/sarcheck
    2. Create a SarCheck analysis of a sar report called sarxx with the switches that will put all of the pieces in /tmp/sarcheck, and put usable graph names in the HTML file’s IMG tags:

      analyze –png –html –gd /tmp/sarcheck -hgd ./ –t –ps sarxx > /tmp/sarcheck/test.html

      The HTML file is redirected to /tmp/sarcheck, the –gd switch puts the graphs in /tmp/sarcheck, and the –hgd switch puts “./” in the IMG tags of the HTML report instead of the actual directory name. As long as the graphs and the HTML file are in the same directory, the browser will have no trouble finding the graphs.

    3. Move the files in /tmp/sarcheck with FTP or whatever tool you prefer. Be sure that the graphs are transferred as “binary” and not “text”. This is a common problem, especially when a PC running Windows is in use.
  • LINUX Example:
    1. Pick or create an empty directory to hold the HTML and graphs. For this example, we’ll use the directory /tmp/sarcheck
    2. Create a SarCheck analysis of a /opt/sarcheck/procstat data file called 20070526 (remember, this is just an example and you might not find this file on your system.) Run the following command with these switches to put all of the pieces in /tmp/sarcheck, and put usable graph names in the HTML file’s IMG tags:

      analyze –png –html –gd /tmp/sarcheck -hgd ./ –t –ps 20070526 > /tmp/sarcheck/test.html

      The HTML file is redirected to /tmp/sarcheck, the –gd switch puts the graphs in /tmp/sarcheck, and the –hgd switch puts “./” in the IMG tags of the HTML report instead of the actual directory name. As long as the graphs and the HTML file are in the same directory, the browser will have no trouble finding the graphs.

    3. Move the files in /tmp/sarcheck with FTP or whatever tool you prefer. Be sure that the graphs are transferred as “binary” and not “text”. This is a common problem, especially when a PC running Windows is in use.
  • Please note: We are not gnuplot experts and can not provide any significant support for gnuplot. We support SarCheck and we will be of limited help if SarCheck is not the problem.

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