How to install and configure SAR on CentOS/RHEL

How to install and configure SAR

The sar command writes to standard output the contents of selected cumulative activity counters in the operating system. The accounting system, based on the values in the count and interval parameters, writes information the specified number of times spaced at the specified intervals in seconds.

If the interval parameter is set to zero, the sar command displays the average statistics for the time since the system was started. If the interval parameter is specified without the count parameter, then reports are generated continuously.

The collected data can also be saved in the file specified by the -o filename flag, in addition to being displayed onto the screen. If filename is omitted, sar uses the standard system activity daily data file, the /var/log/sa/sadd file,where the dd parameter indicates the current day.

Install SAR

We can install SAR using yum, with following command

# yum install sysstat

Loaded plugins: amazon-id, rhui-lb, search-disabled-repos

dockerrepo                                                                                                                                       | 2.9 kB 00:00:00

rhui-REGION-client-config-server-7                                                                                                              | 2.9 kB 00:00:00

rhui-REGION-rhel-server-releases                                                                                                                 | 3.5 kB 00:00:00

rhui-REGION-rhel-server-rh-common                                                                                                               | 3.8 kB 00:00:00

(1/3): rhui-REGION-rhel-server-releases/7Server/x86_64/group                                                                                    | 699 kB 00:00:00

(2/3): rhui-REGION-rhel-server-releases/7Server/x86_64/updateinfo                                                                               | 1.3 MB 00:00:00

(3/3): rhui-REGION-rhel-server-releases/7Server/x86_64/primary_db                                                                               | 26 MB 00:00:01

Resolving Dependencies

–> Running transaction check

—> Package sysstat.x86_64 0:10.1.5-7.el7 will be installed

–> Processing Dependency: for package: sysstat-10.1.5-7.el7.x86_64

–> Running transaction check

—> Package lm_sensors-libs.x86_64 0:3.3.4-11.el7 will be installed

–> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved


Package                               Arch                         Version                            Repository                                               Size



sysstat                               x86_64                       10.1.5-7.el7                       rhui-REGION-rhel-server-releases                       296 k

Installing for dependencies:

lm_sensors-libs                       x86_64                        3.3.4-11.el7                       rhui-REGION-rhel-server-releases                         40 k

Transaction Summary


Install 1 Package (+1 Dependent package)

Total download size: 336 k

Installed size: 1.1 M

Downloading packages:

(1/2): lm_sensors-libs-3.3.4-11.el7.x86_64.rpm                                                                                                  | 40 kB 00:00:00

(2/2): sysstat-10.1.5-7.el7.x86_64.rpm                                                                                                           | 296 kB 00:00:00


Total                                                                                                                                  900 kB/s | 336 kB 00:00:00

Running transaction check

Running transaction test

Transaction test succeeded

Running transaction

Installing : lm_sensors-libs-3.3.4-11.el7.x86_64                                                                                                                  1/2

Installing : sysstat-10.1.5-7.el7.x86_64                                                                                                                         2/2

Verifying : sysstat-10.1.5-7.el7.x86_64                                                                                                                         1/2

Verifying : lm_sensors-libs-3.3.4-11.el7.x86_64                                                                                                                  2/2


sysstat.x86_64 0:10.1.5-7.el7

Dependency Installed:

lm_sensors-libs.x86_64 0:3.3.4-11.el7


Check SAR

Once installed, verify the sar version using following command:

# sar –V

sysstat version 10.1.5

(C) Sebastien Godard (sysstat <at>

Collect the statistics using cron job

Create sysstat file under /etc/cron.d directory that will collect the historical sar data.

# cat /etc/cron.d/sysstat

# Run system activity accounting tool every 10 minutes

*/10 * * * * root /usr/lib64/sa/sa1 1 1

# 0 * * * * root /usr/lib64/sa/sa1 600 6 &

# Generate a daily summary of process accounting at 23:53

53 23 * * * root /usr/lib64/sa/sa2 -A

  • So the first cron entry will run every 10 minutes which will call the sadc utility and collect system stats and store it in a binary file.
  • And the second cron entry will dump all the contents of that binary file into another text file.

By default 7 days statistics, So you can modify that HISTORY entry easily by editing the file.

# cat /etc/sysconfig/sysstat

# How long to keep log files (in days).

# If value is greater than 28, then log files are kept in

# multiple directories, one for each month.


By default all the statistics will save /var/log/sa location.

# cd /var/log/sa