sysstat - Solaris' key system statistics at a glance


sysstat is thought to be a complementary tool in the list of utilities included in Solaris for system observation (prstat, vmstat, iostat, mpstat, nfsstat, netstat, ...). It provides an overall view of the current system performance. Its key feature is to present all most important performance metrics to the user at a single glance. Use it to get a general idea of what is happening on the system. If you encounter any bottlenecks, please ask the standard board utilities for more detailed statistics to find out what is going on. sysstat might point you into the right direction, but it probably won't be able to give you all the information you need in more complex scenarios.

Its output looks like this:

Current status

sysstat is stable and well tested, but if you encounter an issue or miss a specific metric, I'd be glad to here from you.


sysstat is beeing developed on Solaris 8 and 10. It is targeted for all releases starting from 8 (i.e. 8,9,10, and SX). I'd be interested in reports concerning earlier releases of Solaris. If needed I'll also patch sysstat for earlier releases, but I am and won't be able to test other releases than Solaris 8 and 10.

sysstat is highly unportable because of the way statistics are collected. I have no plan to support other operating systems.

For sysstat to work correctly in LDOMs, please install patch 137137-09.


Sysstat has a new, non-obvious feature: it has the capability to monitor multiple machines on the network. Just start a sysstat daemon on every machine you want to monitor. Then start a sysstat anywhere on the network in foreground mode, and all machines will show up on a list at the bottom. You can now toggle through the available hosts, using the hotkeys h and H.

Comment on top on Solaris

Top is a popular tool on many UNIXes and UNIX like OSs. I cannot comment on other OSs, but regarding Solaris its value is quite limited. First, Solaris comes with prstat which is much more versatile concerning the analysis of running processes. Second, the summary statistics shown by top are inaccurate concerning swap. Top gathers its swap information using kstat's unix/system_pages, which really concerns total virtual memory and not swap space. This has the negative effect that most people think that Solaris uses a lot of swap space, when it is actually using only RAM.

The right way to gather swap statistics, is to look at kstat's values for unix/vminfo, which includes the correct numbers. Sysstat does this correctly, and additionally, it shows a vast amount of statistics that are unavailable on most other OSs. Please compare yourself.

If you are still not convinced, remember that top doesn't have a networked mode. Sysstat in contrast supports multicasting, which allows you to monitor multiple machines from a single sysstat session.


Binary Packages

Please visit for all kinds of great binary packages of OSS for Solaris. A package of sysstat is also provided.


Version 20151012 md5=b6a79518878a68912cc3c3672d5197bc
Version 20111025
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Version 20091228 (withdrawn due to regression)
Version 20091024 (license updated to GPLv3)
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Thomas Maier-Komor