Automate Sampling with dimstat

The second chapter of the Solaris performance deals with a must have utility: dimSTAT. dimSTAT a freely available monitoring tool which will monitor entire data centers while you are gone fishing... 

dimSTAT is a tool for general and/or detailed performance analysis and monitoring of Solaris and Linux systems. dimSTAT is a monitoring framework that offers flight-recorder type functionality. A central site can monitor a number of nodes for performance data and store the results for easy displaying and post-processing.

You can download the software and documentation from:

dimSTAT - Installation

dimSTAT installation is straight forward. Get hold of the latest distribution files and then untar them into a directory of your choice:


cd /tmp

tar -xvf <path_to_dimstat>/dim_STAT-v81-sol86.tar


Then run the file with /bin/sh and follow the instructions:

root@soldevx> sh



** Starting dim_STAT Server INSTALLATION **


HOSTNAME: soldevx

IP: ::1


Is it correct? (y/n): n

** Hostname [soldevx]: localhost

** IP addres [::1]:

** Domainname []:

** Domainname []: ** Domainname []:

** Domainname []: .




** On your host You have to assign a USER/GROUP pair as owner

** of all dim_STAT modules (default: dim/dim)

User: dim

Group: dim

Is it correct? (y/n): y




** User dim (group dim) is not created on your host...

** You may do it now by yourself or let me do it during

** installation...



May I create this USER/GROUP on your host? (y/n): y


** dim_STAT Directory Configuration **


** WebX root directory (5MB):

=> /WebX

=> /opt/WebX

=> /etc/WebX




** HOME directory for dim_STAT staff [/apps]: /export/home/dimstat

** TEMP directory : /opt/WebX

=> HOME directory : /export/home/dimstat

=> TEMP directory : /tmp

=> HTTP Server Port : 80

=> DataBase Server Port : 3306

=> Default STAT-service Port : 5000

Is it correct? (y/n): y


** ALL DATA WILL BE DELETED IN: /export/home/dimstat/* !!!

** AS WELL /WebX, /etc/WebX, /opt/WebX !!!

Is it correct? (y/n): y

** Cleanup /export/home/dimstat

** Add User...

** WebX Setup...

** dim_STAT Server extract...

** HTTP Server Setup...

** Database Server Setup...

** ADMIN/Tools Setup...

** TEMP directory...

** Permissions...

** Crontab Setup...

Sun Microsystems Inc. SunOS 5.11 snv_79a January 2008

Warning - Invalid account: 'dim' not allowed to execute cronjobs



** INSTALLATION is finished!!!


May I create now a dim_STAT-Server start/stop script in /etc/rc*.d? (y/n): y

** ===================================================================


** You can start dim_STAT-Server now from /export/home/dimstat/ADMIN:


** # cd /export/home/dimstat/ADMIN

** # ./dim_STAT-Server start


** and access homepage via Web browser - http://localhost:80


** To collect stats from any Solaris-SPARC/x86 or Linux-x86 machines

** just install & start on them [STAT-service] package...


** Enjoy! ;-)


** -Dimitri

** ===================================================================




After installation, please proceed with installation of the STAT service on the nodes of your choice:


cd dimSTAT

pkgadd -d dimSTAT-Solx86.pkg


Note: the dimSTAT STAT service needs to be installed on all nodes that you want to monitor and record for performance data.

dimSTAT – Configuration

The following steps will guide you through a simple dimSTAT configuration.

First, open a browser and navigate to http://localhost. You should see a similar screen:

Then click on the dim_STAT Main Page link (Welcome!). Following similar screen should now appear:

Let's start a new collect. Click on the “Start New Collect” link:

Enter the information to start a new collect on the host named localhost. Click the “Continue” button to move to the next screen:

Select the monitoring options of your choice (for example: vmstat, mpstat, iostat, netstat, etc...). Finally click the “Start STAT(s) Collect Now!!!” button to start monitoring.

The simple dimSTAT configuration is now complete. dimSTAT will record the selected data into a local database.

dimSTAT – Analysis

The following steps will guide you through a simple dimSTAT analysis session.

First, open a browser and navigate to http://localhost/ You should see a similar screen:

Next click on the “Welcome!” link to proceed to the next screen:

Click on the “Analyze” button to start analyzing recorded data. You should see a similar screen:

Select “Single-Host Analyze” and click on the “Analyze” button to proceed to the next screen:

Select the second line (with ID = 2) and click on the “VM stat” button to proceed to the next screen:

You should see a similar screen (top part).

Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select the tick boxes “CPU Usr%”, “CPU Sys%”, “CPU Idle%”. Then click on “Start” button to display the results.

et voila! dimSTAT displays a nice little graph that shows the percentage of usr, sys and idle time for the selected system.

Thomas Bastian was a coauthor of an earlier version of this document. The earlier version of this page has been published in the "The Developers Edge" in 2009.