pmlookuplabels(3) — Linux manual page


PMLOOKUPLABELS(3)       Library Functions Manual       PMLOOKUPLABELS(3)

NAME         top

       pmLookupLabels, pmGetInstancesLabels, pmGetItemLabels,
       pmGetClusterLabels, pmGetInDomLabels, pmGetDomainLabels,
       pmGetContextLabels - retrieve labels associated with performance
       metric values

C SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <pcp/pmapi.h>

       int pmLookupLabels(pmID pmid, pmLabelSet **labelsets);

       int pmGetInstancesLabels(pmInDom indom, pmLabelSet **labelsets);
       int pmGetItemLabels(pmID pmid, pmLabelSet **labelsets);
       int pmGetClusterLabels(pmID pmid, pmLabelSet **labelsets);
       int pmGetInDomLabels(pmInDom indom, pmLabelSet **labelsets);
       int pmGetDomainLabels(int domain, pmLabelSet **labelsets);
       int pmGetContextLabels(pmLabelSet **labelsets);

       cc ... -lpcp


       from pcp import pmapi

       labelsets = pmapi.pmContext().pmLookupLabels(pmid)

       labelsets = pmapi.pmContext().pmGetInstancesLabels(indom)
       labelsets = pmapi.pmContext().pmGetItemLabels(pmid)
       labelsets = pmapi.pmContext().pmGetClusterLabels(pmid)
       labelsets = pmapi.pmContext().pmGetInDomLabels(indom)
       labelsets = pmapi.pmContext().pmGetDomainLabels(domain)
       labelsets = pmapi.pmContext().pmGetContextLabels()

DESCRIPTION         top

       Labels are name:value pairs associated with performance metric
       values for the purpose of attaching additional metric metadata to
       values.  This metadata is less structured and exists separately
       to the metric descriptor available for every PCP metric from

       Much like the metric descriptor metadata, labels are an integral
       part of the identity of each metric, and should rarely, if ever,

       The pmLookupLabels routine is a convenience interface providing
       retrieval for all labels associated with a single performance
       metric identifier, pmid, except labels at the instances level.
       Labels at the instances level must be retrieved separately with a
       call to pmGetInstancesLabels because different metric instances
       may have labels with the same label name.  The pmLookupLabels
       function performs no caching of labels internally.

       For efficiency in communication and storage within the various
       components of the PMCS (Performance Metrics Collection System),
       labels are maintained using a hierarchy.  The set of labels
       associated with any individual metric value consists of the union
       of labels from each of these sets of labels:

       1. Global labels (apply to all metric values from a host or
       archive context)

               provides the labelset associated with all metric values
               from a given source (PMAPI context).

       2. Domain labels (apply to every metric within a PMDA)

               provides the labelset associated with the domain

       3. Instance Domain labels (apply to all metrics sharing that

               provides the labelset associated with the instance domain
               identifier indom.

       4. Cluster labels (apply to a group of metrics within one domain)

               provides the labelset associated with the metric cluster
               (domain,cluster) identified by pmid.

       5. Item labels (apply to an individual performance metric)

               provides the labelset associated with the metric item
               (domain,cluster,item) identified by pmid.

       6. Instance labels (apply to individual instances of a metric)

               provides the set of instance identifiers and labels in
               labelsets for each instance associated with the instance
               domain identifier indom.  The return value indicates the
               number of elements in the result - one labelset for each

       These independent labelsets can be merged using
       pmMergeLabelSets(3) to form the complete set of all labels
       associated with a given value.  Note that the label sets returned
       by pmGetInstancesLabels can be traversed but should not be merged
       because the label names are unlikely to be unique for different
       instances of the given indom.

LABEL SYNTAX         top

       Labels are stored and communicated within PCP using JSONB format.
       This format is a restricted form of JSON suitable for indexing
       and other operations.  In JSONB form, insignificant whitespace is
       discarded, and the order of label names is not preserved.  Within
       the PMCS a lexicographically sorted key space is always
       maintained, however.  Duplicate label names are not permitted.
       The label with highest precedence is the only one presented.  If
       duplicate names are presented at the same hierarchy level, only
       one will be preserved (exactly which one wins is arbitrary, so do
       not rely on this).

       All name:value pair(s) present will be converted to JSONB form
       and merged with the existing set of labels for the requested
       entity (context, domain, indom, metric or instance).

       The label names are further constrained to the same set of rules
       defined for PMNS subtree names.

       Each component in a label name must begin with an alphabetic
       character, and be followed by zero or more characters drawn from
       the alphabetics, the digits and the underscore (``_'') character.
       For alphabetic characters in a name, upper and lower case are

       The value of a label offers significantly more freedom, and may
       be any valid value as defined by the JSON ( )
       specification.  Redundant whitespace is always removed within the

PRECEDENCE         top

       The complete set of labels associated with any metric value is
       built from several sources and duplicate label names may exist at
       any point in the source hierarchy.  However, when evaluating the
       label set (merging labels from the different sources) the JSONB
       concept of only presenting unique labels is used.  It is
       therefore important to define precedence rules in order that a
       deterministic set of uniquely named labels can be defined.

       As a rule of thumb, the labels closest to PMNS leaf nodes and
       metric values take precedence:

       1. Global context labels
           (as reported by the pmcd.labels metric) are the lowest

       2. Domain labels
           (for all metrics and instances from a PMDA) are the next
           highest precedence.

       3. Instance Domain labels
           associated with an InDom are the next highest precedence.

       4. Metric cluster labels
           associated with a PMID cluster are the next highest

       5. Metric item labels
           associated with an individual PMID are the next highest

       6. Instance labels
           associated with a metric instance identifier have highest


       The primary output from pmLookupLabels is returned in the
       argument labelset as an array, using the following component data

            struct {
                uint     name : 16;      /* label name offset in JSONB string */
                uint     namelen : 8;    /* length of name excluding the null */
                uint     flags : 8;      /* information about this label */
                uint     value : 16;     /* offset of the label value */
                uint     valuelen : 16;  /* length of value in bytes */
            } pmLabel;

            struct {
                uint     inst;           /* PM_IN_NULL or the instance ID */
                int      nlabels;        /* count of labels or error code */
                char     *json;          /* JSON formatted labels string */
                uint     jsonlen : 16;   /* JSON string length byte count */
                uint     padding : 16;   /* zero, reserved for future use */
                pmLabel  *labels;        /* indexing into the JSON string */
            } pmLabelSet;

       The pmLabel provides information about an individual label.  This
       includes the offsets to the start of its name and value in the
       json string of a pmLabelSet, their respective lengths, and also
       any informative flags associated with the label (describing where
       it lies in the hierarchy of labels, and whether it is an
       intrinsic or extrinsic label).

       Building on this, the pmLabelSet provides information about the
       set of labels associated with an entity (context, domain, indom,
       metric cluster, item or instance).  The entity will be from any
       one level of the label hierarchy.  If at the lowest hierarchy
       level (which happens to be highest precedence -
       PM_LABEL_INSTANCES) then the inst field will contain an actual
       instance identifier instead of PM_IN_NULL.

       The nlabels field describes the number of labels (name:value
       pairs) that can be found in both the accompanying json string
       (which is JSONB format - no unnecessary whitespace and with no
       duplicate label names) and the accompanying labels array (which
       has nlabels elements).

EXAMPLES         top

       Consider a deployment with global labels (assume $PCP_SYSCONF_DIR
       is set to its usual location of /etc/pcp) as follows:

       $ cat /etc/pcp/labels/*
         "tier": "production",
         "datacenter": "hkg",
         "services": ["indexer","database"]

       Use pminfo to form the merged labelsets for several pmdasample(1)
       metrics as follows:

       $ pminfo -m -f --labels sample.rapid sample.colour sample.mirage

       sample.rapid PMID: 30.0.64
            value 800000000
            labels {"agent":"sample","datacenter":"sydney","hostname":"","measure":"speed","role":"testing","services":["indexer","database"],"tier":"production","units":"metres per second","unitsystem":"SI"}

       sample.colour PMID: 30.0.5
            inst [0 or "red"] value 101
            inst [1 or "green"] value 202
            inst [2 or "blue"] value 303
            inst [0 or "red"] labels {"agent":"sample","datacenter":"syd","hostname":"","model":"RGB","role":"testing","services":["indexer","database"],"tier":"production"}
            inst [1 or "green"] labels {"agent":"sample","datacenter":"syd","hostname":"","model":"RGB","role":"testing","services":["indexer","database"],"tier":"production"}
            inst [2 or "blue"] labels {"agent":"sample","datacenter":"syd","hostname":"","model":"RGB","role":"testing","services":["indexer","database"],"tier":"production"}

       sample.mirage PMID: 29.0.37
            inst [0 or "m-00"] value 99
            inst [0 or "m-00"] labels {"agent":"sample","datacenter":"sydney","hostname":"","role":"testing","services":["indexer","database"],"tier":"production","transient":false}

       Here, pminfo has merged the separate sets of labels returned from
       pmGetContextLabels (names: datacenter, hostname, services, tier),
       pmGetDomainLabels (names: role, agent), pmGetInDomLabels (names:
       model), pmGetItemLabels (names: units, unitsystem) and
       pmGetInstancesLabels (names: transient) to form the complete set
       for each of the metrics.

PYTHON EXAMPLE         top

       #!/usr/bin/env pmpython

       import sys
       from pcp import pmapi
       import cpmapi as c_api

       ctx = pmapi.pmContext(c_api.PM_CONTEXT_HOST, "local:")

       for metric in sys.argv[1:]:
           pmid = ctx.pmLookupName(metric)[0]
           desc = ctx.pmLookupDescs(pmid)[0]

           print("== label sets for %s ==" % metric)
           labelSetList = ctx.pmLookupLabels(pmid)
           # class pmLabelSet has a __str__ handler
           for labelSet in labelSetList:
               print("%s" % labelSet)

           if desc.contents.indom != c_api.PM_INDOM_NULL:
               print("== instances label sets for %s ==" % metric)
               labelSetList = ctx.pmGetInstancesLabels(desc.contents.indom)
               for labelSet in labelSetList:
                   print("%s" % labelSet)

DIAGNOSTICS         top

       On success these interfaces all return the number of elements in
       the labelsets array.  associated with performance metrics.  The
       memory associated with labelsets should be released using
       pmFreeLabelSets(3) when no longer needed.

       Only in the case of pmLookupLabels will the resulting labelset be
       a merged set of labels from all hierarchy levels (except at the
       instances level, as described above).

       For the other routines, except for pmGetInstancesLabels, if no
       labels exist at all for the requested hierarchy level the return
       code will be zero and no space will have been allocated.

       In the case of pmGetInstancesLabels, which can return multiple
       elements in its labelsets result (one set of labels for each
       instance), the nlabels field may be either zero indicating no
       labels for that instance, or a positive count of labels, or a
       negative PMAPI error code.

       Note that it is mandatory for a call to pmGetInstancesLabels to
       be preceded by a call to pmGetInDom(3) to ensure the instances
       have been resolved within the PMDA.

       If no result can be obtained, e.g. due to IPC failure using the
       current PMAPI context then pmGetInstancesLabels will return a
       negative error code which may be examined using

       A successful return from the Python API always provides the
       labelset in the form of a list, for all labels functions.  On
       error a pmErr exception is raised containing the error code and
       diagnostic.  pmErrStr(3).

SEE ALSO         top

       pmcd(1), PMAPI(3), pmFetch(3), pmGetInDom(3), pmLookupDesc(3),
       pmLookupName(3), pmFreeLabelSets(3), pmMergeLabelSets(3),
       pmNewContext(3) and labels.conf(5).

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               PCP                 PMLOOKUPLABELS(3)

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