pmview(1) — Linux manual page


PMVIEW(1)                General Commands Manual               PMVIEW(1)

NAME         top

       pmview - performance metrics 3D visualization back-end

SYNOPSIS         top

       pmview [-Cz] [-A align] [-a archive[,archive,...]]  [-c
       configfile] [-h host] [-n pmnsfile] [-O origin] [-p port] [-R
       logconfig] [-r addconfig] [-S starttime] [-t interval] [-T
       endtime] [-x version] [-Z timezone] [-geometry geometry]
       [-display display] [-name name] [-title title] [-xrm
       "resourceName: value" ...]  [other X11-args]

DESCRIPTION         top

       pmview is a generalized 3D performance metrics visualization tool
       for the Performance Co-Pilot (PCP(1)).

       pmview is the base utility behind performance metrics
       visualization tools such as dkvis(1), mpvis(1), osvis(1) and
       nfsvis(1), It is also used by a range of related tools that are
       specific to optional Performance Domain Agents (PMDA) and/or PCP
       add-on products.  pmview may also be used to construct customized
       3D performance displays.

       pmview displays performance metrics as colored blocks and
       cylinders arranged on monochrome base planes. Each object may
       represent a single performance metric, or a stack of several
       performance metrics.  Since the objects are modulated by the
       value of the metric they represent, only numerical metrics may be
       visualized.  Objects representing a single metric may be
       modulated in terms of height, color, or height and color.
       Objects in a stack may only be height modulated, but the stack
       can be normalized to the maximum height.  Labels may be added to
       the scene to help identify groups of metrics.

       A configuration file (as specified by the -c option, or read from
       standard input) is used to specify the position, color, maximum
       value and labels of metrics and metric instances in the scene.
       The maximum value acts as a normalization factor and is used to
       scale the object height and/or color in proportion to the metric
       values.  Metric values which exceed the associated maximum value
       are displayed as solid white objects.  If a metric is
       unavailable, the object will have minimum height and will be
       colored grey.

       Normally, the tool operates in ``live'' mode where performance
       metrics are fetched in real-time.  The user can view metrics from
       any host running pmcd(1).  pmview can also replay archives of
       performance metrics (see pmlogger(1)) and allow the user to
       interactively control the current replay time and rate using the
       VCR paradigm.  This is particularly useful for retrospective
       comparisons and for post-mortem analysis of performance problems
       where a remote system is not accessible or a performance analyst
       is not available on-site.

       All metrics in the Performance Metrics Name Space (PMNS) with
       numeric value semantics from any number of hosts or archives may
       be visualized.  pmview examines the semantics of the metrics and
       where sensible, converts metric values to a rate before scaling.


       The -S, -T, -O and -A options may be used to define a time window
       to restrict the samples retrieved, set an initial origin within
       the time window, or specify a ``natural'' alignment of the sample
       times; refer to PCPIntro(1) for a complete description of these

       The other available options are:

       -a archive[,archive,...]]
              Specify an archive from which metrics can be obtained for
              a particular host.  archive is the basename of an archive,
              or the name of a directory conytaining archives,
              previously created by pmlogger(1).  Multiple sets of
              archives (separated by commas or in different -a options)
              from different hosts may be given, but an error will occur
              if there is more than one set of archives from the same
              host. Any metrics that are not associated with a specific
              host or archive in the configuration file will use the
              first set of archives as their source.

       -C     Parse the configuration file and exit before displaying
              the pmview window.  Any errors in the configuration file
              are displayed.

       -c configfile
              Load the configuration from configfile rather than
              standard input.

       -h host
              Fetch performance metrics from pmcd(1) on host, rather
              than the default localhost.  Implies that pmview will run
              in live mode, so no archives can be specified on the
              command line or in the configuration file.  Only one -h
              option may be given.

       -n pmnsfile
              Normally pmview operates on the distributed Performance
              Metrics Name Space (PMNS), however if the -n option is
              specified an alternative local PMNS is loaded from the
              file pmnsfile.

       -p port
              Connect to the time controls (see pmtime(1)) on this port.
              Used when a tool launches another tool so that they can
              connect to the same time controls.

       -R logconfig
              Use logconfig as the pmlogger(1) config when recording.

       -r addconfig
              Append addconfig onto the pmlogger(1) config generated by
              pmview when recording.

       -t interval
              The update interval used to fetch metrics from the live or
              archive sources.  The interval argument follows the syntax
              described in PCPIntro(1), and in the simplest form may be
              an unsigned integer (the implied units in this case are
              seconds).  The default is 2.0 seconds.

       -x version
              Use the specified version of the pmlaunch(5)
              specification.  The versions currently supported are
              ``1.0'' and the default version ``2.0''.

       -Z timezone
              By default, pmview reports the time of day according to
              the local timezone on the system where pmview is run.  The
              -Z option changes the default timezone to timezone which
              should be in the format of the environment variable TZ as
              described in environ(7).

       -z     Change the reporting timezone to the local timezone at the
              host that is the source of the performance metrics, as
              identified via either the -h option, or the first -a

       -geometry geometry
       -display display
       -name name
       -title title
       -xrm "resourceName: value"

              Most standard X(1) command line arguments may be used.

WINDOW         top

       The pmview window is comprised of a menu bar, time and scale
       controls, metric and time values, and an ``examiner'' viewer (see
       ivview(1)), which displays the 3D scene.


       The left, right and bottom edges of the examiner viewer contain a
       variety of thumb wheels and buttons that can be used to adjust
       the visualization of the 3D scene.  The Rotx and Roty thumb
       wheels allow the user to rotate the scene about the x and y axes,
       respectively.  The dolly thumb wheel moves the virtual camera
       closer and further from the scene allowing the user to examine
       specific parts in detail or view the entire scene.  On the right
       edge of the viewer are eight buttons which affect the way the
       user can interact with the scene.

           Changes the cursor to a pointer which allows blocks to be
           selected in the scene.  See the Metric Selection section

           Changes the cursor to a hand which allows the scene to be
           rotated, translated and dollied using a combination of mouse
           buttons.  The left mouse button can be used to rotate the
           scene in the direction of the mouse.  Releasing the left
           mouse button before the mouse has stopped moving will cause
           the scene to continue to rotate, which can be stopped by
           pressing the left mouse button again.  The middle mouse
           button will ``pan'' the scene, and both mouse buttons act as
           a dolly for the virtual camera.

       Question Mark
           Displays the SGI Help information for the examiner viewer.

           Changes the scene back to its original position, unless the
           home position has been changed by the home pointer button.

       Home Pointer
           Changes the home position of the scene to be the scene
           currently in view.

       Eye Resizes the scene so that it completely fits into the 3D
           viewing area.

           Moves the object under the cursor to the center of the
           viewing area, if the hand cursor has been selected.  Pressing
           the ``s'' key while the cursor is over an object has the same

       Perspective Box
           Switches the display between perspective and orthogonal

       Pressing the right mouse button within the scene window will
       bring up a menu of options which affect how the 3D scene is
       drawn.  The options include drawing the blocks as wire frames,
       and turning on stereo viewing.


       When the pointer cursor is active, more information about the 3D
       scene can be obtained.  Text describing the metric represented by
       the block under the cursor will be displayed in the top text box
       of the pmview window.  The text contains the source and name of
       the metric, current value and units, and the percentage of the
       expected maximum (or normalization) value.  The text box is
       updated whenever the scene is updated with the latest metric
       values or when the cursor is moved over another block in the
       scene.  Moving the cursor over a base plane block, text or the
       surrounding space will clear the text box.

       Clicking the left mouse button on a block will bind the text box
       on that metric instance so that the metric can be monitored while
       performing other actions with the mouse.  The block will be
       highlighted with a red wire frame.  Clicking the left mouse
       button on text or the space surrounding the scene will unselect
       the object, causing the text box to revert to the original
       behavior of showing the metric underneath the cursor.

       Selecting a base plane instead of a modulated block will cause
       all the blocks on that base plane to be selected.  When more than
       one object is selected, the text box behaves as if nothing is
       selected, so the metric displayed is the metric currently under
       the cursor.  Multiple selections are also possible by pressing
       the SHIFT key while selecting an object with the left mouse

MENUS         top

       There are four menus in pmview's user interface which allow
       scenes to be recorded, saved and printed (File), access to the
       time controls (Options), launching other tools (Launch) and
       online help (Help).

           When in ``live'' mode, this option will launch pmlogger(1)
           processes to record the current scene into an archive folio
           (see pmafm(1)) so that it may be replayed at a later time.
           This option is not available in ``replay'' mode.

           When File/Record is selected, a file chooser dialog will
           prompt for the name of the new archive folio.  If the
           directory to the folio does not exist, pmview will attempt to
           create it.  It is usually convenient to keep each folio
           within its own directory as there will be several other files
           associated with the folio, including the generated archives.

           Once a valid folio has been created, pmview will launch a
           pmlogger(1) process for each host to collect the metrics
           required from that host in the current scene.  The current
           selections do not affect the set of metrics that are

           While recording is in progress, a red dot will appear in the
           time controls button in the top left-hand corner of the
           pmview window.  The File/Record option will also change to
           File/Stop Recording as only one recording session is possible
           at any one time.  Selecting blocks or launching other tools
           will have no affect on the recording session.

           The record session may be terminated by selecting File/Stop
           Recording.  This will display dialogs for each pmlogger(1)
           instance describing the size and location of the archive
           files before terminating each process.  When all pmlogger(1)
           processes have been terminated, the red dot is removed from
           the time controls button, and the menu reverts back to
           File/Record to allow another recording session to take place.

           If the application exists while recording, a dialog will
           appear allowing you to terminate each pmlogger(1) process, or
           leave it running unattached.

           An archive folio may be replayed using the command: ``pmafm
           folio replay''.  See pmafm(1) for more details.

           It is not uncommon for a front-end script which generates a
           pmview scene to use metrics that are not contained in the
           scene.  For example, osvis(1) uses several hinv metrics to
           determine the size and layout of some objects.  As these
           metrics are also needed when replaying the generated archive
           with the front-end script, a complete pmlogger(1) config can
           be specified (-R) that overrides the pmview generated config,
           or an additional config can be appended (-r) to the pmview
           generated config.

           Saves the current scene to a human-readable Open Inventor
           file (see inventor(1)).  A file dialog will prompt for the
           location of the file.  The default file extension is ``.iv''
           which is recognized by ivview(1) and some Web browsers.

           Outputs the current scene to a printer.  A print dialog will
           be displayed allowing a specific printer to be selected.

           pmview immediately exits.  If recording was active, dialogs
           will be displayed for each pmlogger(1) process so that they
           may be terminated.

       Options/Show Time Control
           Displays the time controls (see pmtime(1)) that are driving
           this instance of pmview.  The time controls may be shared by
           other tools, including pmchart(1), that have been launched by
           other instances of pmview and oview(1).  Therefore, this menu
           item may appear to have no affect if the time controls are
           already visible.

       Options/New Time Control
           Disconnect with the current time controls (which may be
           shared by other tools, see pmtime(1)) and use a new time
           control that is not connected to any other tools.  The new
           time control will be immediately displayed.

           The launch menu is generated from a menu specification file
           (see pmlaunch(5)).  The menu contains tools that may be
           launched based on the sources and names of the selected
           metrics in the scene.  For example, if the selected metrics
           are from three different hosts, then three copies of a tool
           may be launched, one for each host.  The behavior of a launch
           depends on the selected metrics and the tools being launched.

           On selection of a Launch menu item pmview generates state
           information in the pmlaunch(5) metrics specification format.
           This provides a description of the selected metrics (or if
           there are no selections, all the metrics) in the scene
           without any geometry information.

           Tools which can monitor multiple hosts and user specified
           metrics may be launched only once for those metrics (eg
           pmdumptext(1)).  Other tools which have a fixed view for one
           host (eg mpvis(1)), may be launched multiple times, once for
           each host in the selected metric list.  If the launched tools
           have time controls, they will share the time controls with
           the launching pmview.

           The set of launched tools is configurable, and may include
           IRIX and user applications.  See pmlaunch(5) for more

           If has been installed, then the insight(1)
           books for pmview are displayed.

TIME CONTROLS         top

       In addition to the menu options for time controls, the current
       direction of the time controls (see pmtime(1)) is shown in a
       button in the top-left corner of the pmview window.  Pressing
       this button will display the time control and is identical in
       behavior to Options/Show Time Control.

SCALE CONTROLS         top

       Above the examiner window is a thumb wheel and an editable text
       box which allow the user to apply a multiplier to all values
       represented in the scene.  Spinning the wheel to the right and/or
       increasing the text value for the scale will increase the height
       of the bars.  Spinning the wheel to the left and/or lowering the
       text value will decrease the height of the bars.  The button to
       the right of the thumb wheel will reset the scale so that the
       bars appear at the original height for their current value.


       Beside the scale controls is another text box which displays the
       time of the fetched metrics.  The time will change with the time
       controller (see pmtime(1)).

DIAGNOSTICS         top

       Are intended to be self-explanatory.  The environment variable
       PCP_STDERR can be set to force most startup warnings and errors
       to be sent to the standard error stream rather than posted in a

FILES         top

            default PMNS specification files

            menu specification file - provides a mapping between menu
            item and launched program

            individual users menu specification

            application resources

            icon for pmview

            shell procedures for parsing pmview command line options in
            front end scripts

            directory where Inventor normally looks for the outlines of
            Type1 fonts.

ENVIRONMENT         top

       The default face of the 3D font in the pmview window can be
       altered via PMVIEW_FONT environment variable which can be set to
       the base name of a Type1 font file in the default Inventor fonts


       Environment variables with the prefix PCP_ are used to
       parameterize the file and directory names used by PCP.  On each
       installation, the file /etc/pcp.conf contains the local values
       for these variables.  The $PCP_CONF variable may be used to
       specify an alternative configuration file, as described in

SEE ALSO         top

       dkvis(1), insight(1), inventor(1), ivview(1), mpvis(1),
       nfsvis(1), osvis(1), oview(1), pcp(1), PCPIntro(1), pmafm(1),
       pmcd(1), pmchart(1), pmdumptext(1), pmlogger(1), pmtime(1),
       pmview(1), X(1), xconfirm(1), xlv_vis(1), pcp.conf(5), pmview(5),
       environ(7) and pmlaunch(5).

       Relevant information is also available from the on-line PCP

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the PCP (Performance Co-Pilot) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this manual
       page, send it to  This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2023-12-22.
       (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found
       in the repository was 2023-12-16.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Performance Co-Pilot                                           PMVIEW(1)

Pages that refer to this page: mkaf(1)pmdaweblog(1)pmview(1)pmview(5)