File: OperationalModes.html

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<html>
<head>
<link rel=stylesheet href="style.css" type="text/css">
<title>Operation Modes</title>
</head>

<body>
<center><h1>Operational Modes</h1></center>
<p>
Depending on which combination of switches are selected, collectl will run in
one of 3 main modes with various options for added flexibility.
The most basic mode, which you get if you don't select one of the other 2,
is <i>display</i>.  In this mode the output is displayed on the terminal
in real-time as it is collected.  In <i>record</i>
mode, specified by the -f switch, data is written in real-time to a
directory of the user's choosing with an optional prefix.  In <i>playback</i> mode, selected with -p,
data is read from a file that was generated in <i>record</i> mode at an earlier
time.
<p>
The format of the results can also be selected as either <i>Terminal</i> or 
<i>Plot</i>.  <i>Terminal</i> data is always displayed on the terminal while 
<i>Plot</i> data, selected by including
-P with any of the 3 modes, can be either written to a file or displayed on
the terminal.  Since plot data is not intended for human consumption, the
reason one would typically send it to a terminal would be with the intent of
redirecting the output to a file or piping it into another script.
<p>
Using the -f, -p and -P  switches in different combinations result in the
following behaviors:
<p>
<table>
<tr valign=top><td width=20%>No switches</td><td>Data is displayed on the terminal as formatted text</td></tr>

<tr valign=top><td>-P</td><td>Data is displayed on the terminal in Plot Format</td></tr>

<tr valign=top><td>-f file</td><td>Raw data is written to the file (whose name is constructed
by collectl) in the same format as it occurred in /proc, with the extension <i>raw</i>.
For more details on file naming see <a href=FileNaming.html>file naming</a>.</td></tr>

<tr valign=top><td>-f file -P</td><td>Data is written to the specified file in plot format, 
with one or more of a number of extensions depending on what detail data may 
have been requested.</td></tr>

<tr valign=top><td>-p file</td><td>Data is played back from the <i>raw</i> file specified by -p and 
displayed on the terminal as formatted text.  If one wishes to view a subset of the data 
recorded, -s can be included to provide that discrimination or <i>--from/--thru</i> to
select a subset of the timeframe.  Note that if one specifies
subsystems for which data has not been recorded, they will be displayed as zeros.  
One can also change the format that the data is displayed though
various switches such as --verbose and -o.</td></tr>

<tr valign=top><td>-p file -P</td><td>Data is played back from the <i>raw</i> file and displayed on the 
terminal in Plot Format.  Note that since one often uses this mode to produce 
output usable by other tools/programs, the user can force the output format by 
including -s and only those subsystems specified will be displayed.
Furthermore, subsystems for which data has not been collected will also be displayed
as zeros to ensure consistent formatting across multiple data files.</td></tr>

<tr valign=top><td>-p file1 -f file2</td><td>This is NOT supported as you can only write data that is played
back to another file in plot format.  Someone wanting to do this should rethink what 
it is they are trying to do.</td></tr>

<tr valign=top><td>-p file1 -f file2 -P</td><td>Data is played back from the <i>raw</i> file and written to
the specified file in Plot Format.  Note that here too -s will force specific subsystems 
to be displayed.</td></tr>
</table>

<table width=100%><tr><td align=right><i>updated Feb 21, 2011</i></td></tr></colgroup></table>

</body>
</html>