Simple steps to install and configure sar (sysstat) on Ubuntu/Debian servers

Monitoring servers are very important for every server administrator. There are a lot of command line tools are available to monitor server resource usages. The Sar or Sysstat is one of the great command-line tool to monitor the server resource usage. This will track a record of resource usages in server. This can be used for your system resource usage analysis in case of any outage occurs. A great tool for postmortem purpose. In this article we’re discussing the steps to install this utility on Debian based system. The installation process is very simple and can be done using the default package manager.

We can simply find out the resource usages history by using the command “sar” with its switches like ‘q’, ‘r’ etc..

>> Load & Memory monitoring using SAR <<

A lot of switches are available with “sar” command to check different things. Here, CryBit explains the basic installation steps of sar on Debian servers.

Installation of SAR on Ubuntu/Debian

We can simply install and configure the SAR on Linux servers. In debian based server we can use the command “apt-get” to install the SAR utility.

Step I : SSH to the server as root user.

Step II : Execute the below command to install the SAR utility.

# apt-get install sysstat

That’s it! You may get the below pasted error if you are not configured the sysstat properly.

Cannot open /var/log/sysstat/sa02: No such file or directory
Please check if data collecting is enabled in /etc/default/sysstat


Open “/etc/default/sysstat” using your favorite file editor and change ENABLED=”false” to ENABLED=”true”

vi /etc/default/sysstat
# Should sadc collect system activity informations? Valid values
# are "true" and "false". Please do not put other values, they
# will be overwritten by debconf!

Step III : One more thing to do, change the collection interval from every 10 minutes to every 2 minutes.

vi /etc/cron.d/sysstat
5-55/10 * * * * root command -v debian-sa1 > /dev/null && debian-sa1 1 1
*/2 * * * * root command -v debian-sa1 > /dev/null && debian-sa1 1 1

Step IV : Restart the service.

service sysstat restart
/etc/init.d/sysstat restart

That’s it!  Install SAR and relax 🙂

Related Links:

1, Load & Memory monitoring using SAR
2, Load monitoring in Linux servers

Post navigation

Arunlal A

Senior System Developer at Zeta. Linux lover. Traveller. Let's connect! Whether you're a seasoned DevOps pro or just starting your journey, I'm always eager to engage with like-minded individuals. Follow my blog for regular updates, connect on social media, and let's embark on this DevOps adventure together! Happy coding and deploying!

28 thoughts on “Simple steps to install and configure sar (sysstat) on Ubuntu/Debian servers

  1. Hi
    I am using CentOS Linux release 7 and i am not finding /etc/default/sysstat file for enabling data collection.
    Please help me where exaclty i have to enable as ENABLED=”true”?

  2. You may want to mention the “No such file or directory” failure can occur if you run the “sar” command (i.e. test it by running sar once).

  3. I did the recommendations however I am still unable to run the command sar. I get a prompt cannot open /var/log/sysstat.sa23: No such file or directory.
    Please check if data collecting is enabled.

    Hope for suggestion on how to resolve this.


      1. On systemd systems you need to enable following services:

        – sysstat-collect.timer
        – sysstat-summary.timer

        so it means that following commands:

        systemctl start sysstat-collect.timer
        systemctl start sysstat-summary.timer

        and also enable with both services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *