GSoC Community bonding - Week 1

May 3, 2016    gsoc pcp

Reading Documentation

This post summarises the progress in the first week of the community bonding period.
This week every student recieved a mail from GSoC organising team about the importance of the Community Bonding period, how it is important and that the students are not getting paid $500 just for writing a good proposal :p .

It also mentioned few things that should be done by both the organisation and students such as encouraging students to participate in the communication over mailing lists or IRC, to know more about their organisation, perform short assignments and much more.

PCP has good documentation available on its website. It features two manuals:

  1. User’s manual
  2. Programmer’s manual

  3. User’s manual is everything about how to use different components of PCP. It also shows examples of commands such as pminfo,pmval and pmstat etc. It covers all the topics required to begin with PCP like Installation, Configuration, Conventions, Monitoring system performance and Performance Metric Inference Engine.
  4. Programmer’s manual is very descritptive and developer centric document which focuses on the internal data structures and APIs that PCP provides for writing new PMDAs and other development and monitoring tools. It also features trivial and sample programs to explain the concepts.

Understanding ‘/proc ‘ directory

/proc is the most important directory for any performance tool developer. It is one of the most interesting directory in linux because it is not just a directory but a complete file system.

Man page for proc states that The proc filesystem is a pseudo-filesystem which provides an interface to kernel data structures.
It is commonly mounted at /proc. Most of it is read-only, but some files allow kernel variables to be changed.

This website has a very illustrative explanation for understanding meaning of different directories that are present under ‘/proc’.
Performing strace shows how different system performance commands make use of this directory for gathering system information.

That’s all folks.

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