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I'd like to record data about system activity under FreeBSD for future analysis. If I were running a SysV system, I'd just sar and its related utilities, but that doesn't exist in the BSDs. (And bsdsar has gone missing.) I don't really care about specific formats or utilities, but I want to keep information about CPU, RAM, and VM utilization, as well as I/O information. At the same time, full acct process accounting both seems like overkill and doesn't really provide data I want: notably, data about preexisting processes.

I could just log the output from long-running vmstat, iostat, etc. commands, but it seems like there ought to be something tidier.

Ultimately, the question is:

What is a good way to find out recent past system utilization under FreeBSD?

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As is always the way, I ran across a solution in the middle of posting this. atop seems likely to have the features I need. – wfaulk Oct 7 '13 at 17:09

collectd is available for FreeBSD. From the collectd website:

collectd gathers statistics about the system it is running on and stores this information. Those statistics can then be used to find current performance bottlenecks (i.e. performance analysis) and predict future system load (i.e. capacity planning). Or if you just want pretty graphs of your private server and are fed up with some homegrown solution you're at the right place, too ;).

You can collect lots of information with the plugins it ships with, and you can roll your own with its various language bindings. If you want to use it on more than one host, you can collect data (and graphs) on one host using the network plugin.

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More detail would improve this. Link only answers are note great once the link breaks. Can you add some info about collectd to improve? – Dave M Oct 7 '13 at 18:37
While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – Dave M Oct 7 '13 at 18:37
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I ended up using atop (which is available in FreeBSD ports as sysutils/atop), and it's awesome. I would very much consider using it in preference of sar on systems where sar is available. It comes with a curses-based UI that is easy to navigate and shows a lot of data at once. It's incredibly handy.

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