I would like to periodically (e.g. using cron) generate an image (e.g. png) containing graphs for CPU usage, memory usage, disk I/O load and network usage.

I would like something not too ugly, so a gnuplot graph is a bit crude, but if that's the only option I'll take it nonetheless.

After half an hour of googling, I just havn't been able to find a simple tool to do that without extensive configuration.

I thought about using conky and asking it to render to a file instead of showing the graphs on the screen, but I couldn't find such an option for conky. The only solution I thought of would be to start a dummy Xorg session, let conky run on that, and periodically take screenshots.

I also saw plenty of blog posts etc. about using dstat or similar tools, but these generated text reports, not graphs.

Is there a command-line tool that is very simple to setup that can generate (pretty) GPU graphs and similar graphs, without requiring extensive configuration from my part?

Something like:

generategraph --cpu --interval 300 --output mygraph.png


The problem with the other tools cited so far (rrdtool, mrtg, zabbix, orca) is that they are enterprise-grade software designed for full-time network administrators. I just want something simple that I can run on a small box and set-up within a matter of seconds instead of spending days to configure it.

And I just realized I asked on serverfault instead of superuser like I meant to, so that explains the answers I got :) Thank you all, and sorry for loosing your time, I'm requesting this question to be closed / migrated to superuser.

  • That doesn't mean that they're unsuitable for what you're asking for. MRTG is quite easy to set up. – mfinni Mar 26 '14 at 15:59
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    I found this question while looking to do the same thing on my home server. I did install vnstat and vnstati to generate png of network usage, but was missing ram and cpu and only a few hours later did i find anything about sysstat and sar2png sysstat - System performance tools for the Linux operating system Contains: sar collects, reports and saves system activity information sadf displays data collected by sar in multiple formats (CSV, XML, JSON, etc.) and can be used for data exchange with other programs. And sar2png github.com/sqrt529/sar2png – madrang Jun 29 '17 at 4:23

Think about this... You need some way to track history in order to provide an input to the CLI-generated graphs. This is where something like RRDTool helps.

There are tools like collectl that will collect data and organize it for another graphing utility.

There are pretty solutions like NewRelic that aren't CLI-based, but provide some better insight into system performance...

But I'm old school... I still use Orca for this.

But the graphs are pretty.

enter image description here

  • Indy_Fruit? Pray tell... – MadHatter Mar 26 '14 at 14:16

Any of:

  • rrdtool
  • MRTG
  • Zabbix

will take care of your problem.

  • Other solutions: cacti ? – neutrinus Mar 26 '14 at 14:07
  • And a lot of others besides. – mfinni Mar 26 '14 at 14:10

Heavens. What's wrong with MRTG? Or, almost any other performance monitoring tool ever?

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