[Orca-users] Orca 0.27 beta 1 released

Blair Zajac blair at gps.caltech.edu
Thu May 17 13:56:59 PDT 2001


Orca 0.27 beta 1 is available at


The major modifications in this release are shown below.

There have been a number of enhancement and bug fix requests for
Orca and many of these are in here.  However, there are a few
remaining issues that have not been fixed, such as Orca creating
multiple filesystem plots.

I have a limited amount of time to support Orca as I am creating
a new startup.  I will fix any minor bugs in this beta release to
finally release Orca 1.00.

If you have specific Orca feature requests, bug requests or require
installation or support help that is beyond the level of support
that has been available through the Orca mailing lists, I am
available for Orca consulting to help fund the new startup :).  Please
contact me directly at blair at gps.caltech.edu if you are interested.
My new start up is not related to Orca.


NEW IN ORCA 0.27b1

 1) By default, now create an hourly plot that shows the last 1.5
    hours of data.  Add a global "generate_hourly_plot" configuration
    file parameter that when set to 0 turns this plot off.  Hourly
    plot creation is disabled in orcallator.cfg.in since orcallator.se
    by default measures the system every 5 minutes and the plots look

 2) Fix the warning message in src/orca.pl.in

      Use on uninitialized value in array element at (eval X) line 1,
      <DATA> line Y

    when Orca was run with Perl 5.6.0.  This bug was in the filename
    sorting subroutine.

    This problem is probably responsible for problems where there are
    missing data from generated plots.  Since the filename sorting
    subroutine tells Orca the order in which to load data into the RRD
    files and the sorted filename list will have newer data files
    listed before older data files, once newer data is entered into an
    RRD file you cannot add older data, resulting in missing data in
    the output plots.

    If this is a problem, then the solution is to remove the RRD files
    and rerun Orca with all of the input data files.

 3) Add a new command line option named -no-images which suppresses
    image generation.  Remove the command line option -r which told
    Orca to only update the RRD files and not generate HTML and image
    files.  To replace -r functionality, use both -no-images and
    -no-html command line options.

 4) Add a new command line option -no-html to instruct Orca to skip
    generating HTML files.  Patch from Alex Howansky
    <alex at wankwood.com>.

 5) Add a new command line option -logfile that specifies a filename
    that STDOUT and STDERR are redirected to so that all messages,
    warnings and errors are printed to the file.  Now when a SIGPIPE
    is caught, messages will continue to be printed unless -logfile
    was not given to Orca.  Patch supplied by Bruce Johnson
    <Bruce.Johnson at PictureVision.com>.

 6) Add a new command line option -daemon that puts Orca in the
    background or daemonizes it.  It is recommended that when this
    command line option is used that -logfile is used.  Patch supplied
    by Bruce Johnson <Bruce.Johnson at PictureVision.com>.

 7) A new contrib directory has been created which is where
    contributed scripts and programs will be kept.  The first
    submissions are:

    a) Include the orcaservices package in the contrib directory which
       was written by Carlos Canau <Carlos.Canau at KPNQwest.pt> and
       documented by Jose Carlos <jcp at KPNQwest.pt>.  This package
       allows monitoring of many different types of Unix services,
       such as DNS, SMTP, POP, etc.

    b) A script to rotate Orca's HTML directory so that the daily
       plots can be archived.  It is named rotate_orca_graphs.

 8) Replace the small color scheme used for automatically cycling
    through plot colors with a longer list designed by Guy Dallaire
    <gdallair-nospam at criq.qc.ca>.

 9) To support configurations where it does not make sense to make all
    of the hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly
    plots, i.e.  when only one measurement per day is made and having
    a daily plot would not show anything, Orca now understands the
    global configuration file options "generate_hourly_plot",
    "generate_daily_plot", "generate_weekly_plot",
    "generate_monthly_plot", "generate_quarterly_plot", and
    "generate_yearly_plot".  When an argument value of 0 is given to
    the parameter, the plot is not created.  If the particular
    parameter is not used or the value is not 0, then the plot is

10) Add a new configuration file option for plots named
    "summary_format" which specifies the format for the summary values
    as passed to the RRDtool GPRINT function.  The same format is used
    for each number within a single summary line, but you can specify
    multiple "summary_format"'s options if there are multiple plots on
    the graph.  The default value, which has not changed from previous
    Orca versions, is '%9.3lf %S'.  Patch from Alex Howansky
    <alex at wankwood.com>.

11) Remove the "date_format" configuration option as it was never
    supported.  This is replaced by a new "date_parse" configuration
    file parameter which supports converting arbitrary strings in the
    input source data files that somehow represent time into an Unix
    epoch time usable by Orca.  The "date_parse" parameter appears in
    a group field and is an arbitrary Perl subroutine that is given
    two arguments, the first being the name of the file where the data
    is loaded and the second the string from the "date_source" column
    that contains some time information.  The subroutine should return
    the Unix epoch time.  If this option is not specified, then Orca
    assumes that the string holds the Unix epoch time.

    This Perl subroutine is only used if the file's date source is not
    specified to be the file's last modified time as indicated to Orca
    by use of the "date_source" file_mtime configuration file option.

12) Remove the "sub_dir" configuration file parameter and now always
    create sub directories for RRD, image and HTML files.  This
    removes the problem when a simple Orca configuration file was used
    and Orca did not create subdirectories and then additional groups
    where added to the configuration file Orca would begin to use
    subdirectories and the existing RRD, image and HTML files would be
    in the wrong location.  In this case, Orca would reload all of the
    input data.

13) Allow the "late_interval" configuration parameter to appear in a
    configuration file group.  If it does not appear in a group
    listing, then use the global "late_interval" value.

14) Add a new configuration file option named "require" that allows
    the configuration file to specify the minimum required version of

15) Orca now catches SIGPIPEs so the lock directory is properly
    removed when Orca's STDOUT and/or STDERR is piped to a process,
    such as less, and the piped to process exits before Orca does.

16) Fix a bug where Orca's documentation stated that the configuration
    file can specify different data_min, data_max, and data_type's for
    each data in a plot but the code did not.  Make the modifications
    in Orca to support this feature.

17) When loading a configuration file, now do a complete check of it
    for errors before quitting, instead of quitting after a single

18) Include and require the following package updates: Digest::MD5
    2.13, RRDtool 1.0.33 and Storable 1.0.11.

19) The email address blair at akamai.com that I used no longer works, as
    I have left Akamai.  I can be reached at blair at gps.caltech.edu.

    These following changes are what's new in orcallator.se 1.28 and
    the orcallator.cfg file since version 1.23 which was included with
    Orca 0.26.  All of the changes below are taken advantage of in the
    included orcallator.cfg and start_orcallator files.

20) When orcallator.se was running on a system with an older version
    of SE the p_vmstat.scan variable is an integer and the sprintf to
    %8.3f fails, resulting in a perceived scan rate of 0 pages per
    second.  Now always add 0.0 to p_vmstat.scan to get a double.

21) Fix a typo where nil was misspelled as nik.

22) Make sure to check the return from stat() on the web server access
    log in case the file is missing.  Use fstat() instead of stat()
    when a file descriptor is available.

23) Print the portion of time running in idle mode with some process
    waiting for block I/O as wio% and otherwise completely idle time
    as idle%.  Update orcallator.cfg.in to fix a bug in plotting the
    CPU usage plots where the idle% time was calculated by subtracting
    the user percent time usr% and the system percent time sys% from
    100%.  This did not take into account the wait on IO time wio%
    that the system measures and hence the idle% was overestimated.
    Now plot the correct idle% and the wio%.

24) Recoded measure_disk() to access the RAWDISK interface to
    sys_kstat device information to allow the activity on Sun's A1000
    and Clariion Raid controller drives to be seen.  Apparently the
    pseudo drivers do not update the kstat interface.  It is also
    inverts the fix provided by version 1.23 to avoid over-counting md
    devices.  By suppressing stats from slices and metadevices and
    instead reporting on full devices such as c0t0d0 or sd0.  Note:
    This may have introduced an interaction with the live_rules.se
    class monitoring of drive performance.  Prevent floppy disks and
    tape drives from RAWDISK.  Added wio% to measure wait time since
    the idle calculation is wrong without this.  Prevent filesystems
    mounted under /snapshots from being seen.  Patch contributed by
    Alan LeGrand <alegrand at wallace.com>.

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