About This Guide

This guide describes the Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) software package of advanced performance tools for the SGI family of graphical workstations and servers.

The Performance Co-Pilot for IRIX Advanced User's and Administrator's Guide documents the PCP enhancement features that are in the Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) software package (pcp and pcp_gifts ), which users purchase separately.

The Performance Co-Pilot for IRIX User's and Administrator's Guide documents the PCP features that are embedded in the IRIX operating system. It is a prequel to the Performance Co-Pilot for IRIX Advanced User's and Administrator's Guide, which only provides descriptions about tools and services which are not provided in the foundation components of PCP.

PCP provides a systems-level suite of tools that cooperate to deliver integrated performance monitoring and performance management services spanning the hardware platforms, operating systems, service layers, Database Management Systems (DBMSs), and user applications.

“About This Guide” includes short descriptions of the chapters in this book, directs you to additional sources of information, and explains typographical conventions.

What This Guide Contains

This guide contains the following chapters:

Audience for This Guide

This guide is written for the system administrator or performance analyst who is directly using and administering PCP applications. It is assumed that you have installed IRIS InSight for viewing online books, or have access to the IRIX Admin manual set, including IRIX Admin: System Configuration and Operation, and the Personal System Administration Guide as hard-copy documents.

Related Resources

The Performance Co-Pilot Programmer's Guide, a companion document to the Performance Co-Pilot for IRIX Advanced User's and Administrator's Guide, is intended for application developers who want to use the PCP framework and services for exporting additional collections of performance metrics, or for delivering new or customized applications to enhance performance management.

IRIX Admin: System Configuration and Operation describes how to perform general system configuration and operation tasks under the IRIX operating system used with SGI workstations and servers. The Personal System Administration Guide provides similar information for graphics workstations.

Additional resources include man pages, release notes, and SGI Web sites.

Man Pages

The IRIX man pages provide concise reference information on the use of IRIX commands, subroutines, and system resources. There is usually a man page for each PCP command or subroutine. To see a list of all the PCP man pages, enter the following command:

man -k performance 

To see a particular man page, supply its name to the man command, for example:

man pcp

The man pages are divided into the following seven sections:


General commands


System calls and error numbers


Library subroutines


File formats




Demos and games


Special files

When referring to man pages, this guide follows a standard UNIX convention: the section number in parentheses follows the item. For example, pmda(3) refers to the man page in section 3 for the pmda command.

Release Notes

Release notes provide specific information about the current product release, available online through the relnotes command. Exceptions to the printed and online documentation are found in the release notes. The grelnotes command provides a graphical interface to the release notes of all products installed on your system. For additional information, see the relnotes(1) and grelnotes(1) man pages.

SGI Web Sites

The following Web sites are accessible to everyone with general Internet access:




The SGI general Web site, with search capability


Links to Performance Co-Pilot product information


Some parts of the PCP infrastructure that have also been released as open source

Obtaining Publications

To obtain SGI documentation, go to the SGI Technical Publications Library at http://docs.sgi.com .


The following conventions are used throughout this document:




This fixed-space font denotes literal items such as commands, files, routines, path names, signals, messages, and programming language structures.


Italic typeface denotes variable entries and words or concepts being defined.

user input 

This bold, fixed-space font denotes literal items that the user enters in interactive sessions. (Output is shown in nonbold, fixed-space font.)

[ ] 

Brackets enclose optional portions of a command or directive line.


Ellipses indicate that a preceding element can be repeated.


All capital letters denote environment variables, operator names, directives, defined constants, and macros in C programs.


Parentheses that follow function names surround function arguments or are empty if the function has no arguments; parentheses that follow IRIX commands surround man page section numbers.

Reader Comments

If you have comments about the technical accuracy, content, or organization of this document, contact SGI. Be sure to include the title and document number of the manual with your comments. (Online, the document number is located in the front matter of the manual. In printed manuals, the document number is located at the bottom of each page.)

You can contact SGI in any of the following ways:

  • Send e-mail to the following address:

    [email protected]

  • Use the Feedback option on the Technical Publications Library Web page:


  • Contact your customer service representative and ask that an incident be filed in the SGI incident tracking system.

  • Send mail to the following address:

    Technical Publications
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, M/S 535
    Mountain View, California 94043-1351

  • Send a fax to the attention of “Technical Publications” at +1 650 932 0801.

SGI values your comments and will respond to them promptly.