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.

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

Arunlal Ashok

DevOps (Server & Cloud infrastructure) Engineer. I'm dealing Linux servers since 2012. I started this blog to share and discuss my ideas. Always happy for an open discussion! Write to arun (@) crybit (dot) com

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21 Responses

  1. Manoj Gupta says:

    How to send this SAR report to automatically on my email id ?

  2. Zeeshan says:

    I did this on Amazon EC2 Ubuntu virtual machine. It worked perfectly. I didn’t need to restart sysstat service.

  3. guru says:

    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”?

  4. Cris says:

    Awesome post!!! Extremely helpful!!! Thank you so much!!!

  5. Ahmed Refaey says:


  6. João Pinela. says:

    very nice post and explanation.
    screenshots are a great helper.

  7. Roger Pack says:

    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).

  8. talo says:

    Cool!, just what i needed 🙂

  9. Ed says:

    Thanks for your explanation! Very useful!

  10. akhilendra says:

    sometimes u have to say thanks……

  11. Diego says:

    Thank you. I forgot to change enable=”true”.

  12. Stefano says:


  13. Tweeks says:

    Why? Why is this set to “false” on ubuntu?

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