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A simple and effective way to gather machine statistics (RAM, Storage, CPU, etc.) from server environment

Project description

Machine Stats for Unix-like systems


A simple and effective way to gather machine statistics (RAM, Storage, CPU) from a server environment as a first layer of a Tidal discovery process.

Machine Stats for Linux/Unix leverages Ansible to gather facts in a cross-platform way.

Interactive tutorial

Get familiar with Machine Stats, Tidal Tools and Tidal Accelerator!

Open in Cloud Shell


Install locally in a Python 3 environment:

python3 -m pip install machine-stats

Need to install in an environment without internet access? Checkout how to do that below.

Distribution-specific installation instructions

Ubuntu 16.04

  1. Make sure pip is installed and is one of the latest version available:
    sudo apt update && \
      sudo apt install -y python3-pip && \
      python3 -m pip install --user pip==18.1 && \
      python3 -m pip install --upgrade --user pip
    Note: Direct upgrade to the latest available pip version results with an unusable pip installation. That's why we perform the upgrade through the intermediate version (18.1).
  2. Install machine-stats:
    python3 -m pip install machine-stats

Debian 9/Ubuntu 18.04

  1. Make sure pip is installed and is one of the latest version:
    sudo apt update && \
      sudo apt install -y python3-pip && \
      python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip
  2. Install machine-stats:
    python3 -m pip install machine-stats

Debian 10/Debian 11/Ubuntu 20.04/Ubuntu 21.04

  1. Make sure pip is installed:
    sudo apt update && \
      sudo apt install -y python3-pip
  2. Install machine-stats:
    python3 -m pip install machine-stats

CentOS 7/CentOS 8/CentOS Stream/Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7/Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8/Rocky Linux 8

  1. Install Python 3:
    sudo yum install -y python3
  2. Upgrade pip to the latest available version:
    python3 -m pip install --upgrade --user pip
  3. Install machine-stats:
    python3 -m pip install machine-stats

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12

  1. Install Python 3.6:
    sudo zypper install -y python36-base
  2. Install machine-stats:
    pip install machine-stats

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15

  1. Install pip:
    sudo zypper install -y python3-pip
  2. Install machine-stats:
    pip install machine-stats

Data captured

For Linux/Unix based systems, by default, the following metrics are captured from the resources and sent and stored in Tidal Accelerator:

  • Host Name
  • FQDN
  • IP Addresses
  • RAM Allocated (GB)
  • RAM Used (GB)
  • Storage Allocated (GB)
  • Storage Used (GB)
  • CPU Count
  • Operating System
  • Operating System Version
  • CPU name

You also can optionally capture metrics about processes running on the server:

  • User
  • Process Name
  • Process Path
  • Memory Used (MB)
  • Max Memory Used (MB)
  • Total Alive Time

To enable capturing process metrics add the command-line flag --process-stats:

machine-stats --process-stats

Minimal example

  1. Create a hosts file in the current directory. See below on a couple ways you can easily create this.

  2. Add connection strings in the form of ssh-user@ip-address or ssh-user@domain to the hosts file one per line If the ssh-user@ part is omitted, then the current user name is used.

  3. If you need to use a custom SSH identity file for some particular host, provide it as the following: ansible_ssh_private_key_file=path/to/key-file.pem
  4. Make sure that Python 2.6+ is installed on the machines from hosts file.

  5. If python executable was installed into non-default location (not in /usr/bin/python), add the ansible_python_interpreter parameter to the hosts file after the host IP/domain, for example: ansible_python_interpreter=/usr/local/bin/python
  6. Execute machine-stats and pipe its output to Tidal Tools:

    machine-stats | tidal sync servers

Additional notes

By default Machine Stats looks for the hosts file in current working directory. If your inventory file has another name or is located on another path, then you should specify it explicitly:

machine-stats /path/to/myhosts | tidal sync servers

You can specify multiple inventory files as the following:

machine-stats hosts myhosts /path/to/myhosts


Machine Stats uses Ansible under the hood. Most of the Ansible configuration options can be used with Machine Stats too. By default, Machine Stats will look for configuration files in the following locations:

  • $PWD/machine_stats.cfg
  • $PWD/machine-stats.cfg
  • $PWD/machinestats.cfg
  • $PWD/ansible.cfg
  • $HOME/.machine_stats.cfg
  • $HOME/.machine-stats.cfg
  • $HOME/.machinestats.cfg
  • $HOME/.ansible.cfg
  • /etc/ansible/ansible.cfg

Also, it is possible to specify the custom configuration file location by setting the ANSIBLE_CONFIG environment variable, for example:

ANSIBLE_CONFIG=/path/to/my/machine_stats.cfg machine_stats /path/to/my/hosts

Note: if ANSIBLE_CONFIG value points to a directory, then Machine Stats will look for ansible.cfg in that directory.

Getting information about RHEL 5 hosts

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 is shipped with Python 2.4 but machine_stats requires at least Python 2.6. To install Python 2.6 on your RHEL 5 machine follow these steps. NOTE: this doesn't update the existing Python packages, but installs Python 2.6 alongside with system Python packages.

  1. Download Python 2.6 package and its dependencies from EPEL repository:

      sudo curl -L -OOO -k \{python26-libs-2.6.8-2.el5.x86_64.rpm,libffi-3.0.5-1.el5.x86_64.rpm,python26-2.6.8-2.el5.x86_64.rpm}
  2. Install the packages:

    sudo rpm -ivh python26*.rpm libffi*.rpm
  3. Use non-standard Python location in your hosts file: ansible_python_interpreter=/usr/bin/python2.6

Offline installation

NOTE: Creating the packages archive for offline installation and the actual offline installation process must be performed on machines with the same OS and Python versions.

  1. On the machine with internet connection create the packages archive using the following commands:

    python3 -m pip download -d machine-stats-offline machine-stats
    tar czf machine-stats-offline.tar.gz machine-stats-offline
  2. Transfer the archive to the machine where you need to perform the offline installation (replace <remote-host> and <remote-dir> with the appropriate values):

    scp machine-stats-offline.tar.gz <remote-host>:/<remote-dir>/
  3. On the remote host, extract the archive and switch to extracted directory:

    tar xf machine-stats-offline.tar.gz
    cd machine-stats-offline
  4. Install Machine Stats and its dependencies:

    python3 -m pip install --no-index --find-links . machine_stats-*.whl

Generating a hosts file from Tidal Accelerator

You can easily generate a hosts file directly from your server inventory in Tidal Accelerator. For example you can use this command:

tidal export servers | jq '.[].host_name' > hosts

This will create a file (hosts), in your current directory, that you can use above in Step 1.

Alternatively, if you use Tidal Accelerator Ansible Tower integration script you can use its output to generate the hosts file for machine_stats.



cd ansible-tower-integration
./ | jq -r '.servers.hosts[]' > path/to/hosts


machine-stats: command not found

If running Machine Stats as a CLI failed, try running it as the following:

python3 -m machine_stats

How to permanently enable the Python 3.8 software collection on RHEL 7

You should always enable the Python software collection before using pipenv with the following command:

scl enable rh-python38 bash

To permanently add Python 3 to your $PATH, you can add an scl_source command to the “dot files” for your specific user. The benefit of this approach is that the collection is already enabled at every login.

Using your preferred text editor, add the following line to your ~/.bashrc:

# Add RHSCL Python 3 to my login environment
source scl_source enable rh-python38

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