The London Perl and Raku Workshop takes place on 26th Oct 2024. If your company depends on Perl, please consider sponsoring and/or attending.


Linux::Info - API in Perl to recover information about the running Linux OS


version 2.19


    use Linux::Info;

    # you can't use sysinfo like that!
    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new(
        cpustats  => 1,
        procstats => 1,
        memstats  => 1,
        pgswstats => 1,
        netstats  => 1,
        sockstats => 1,
        diskstats => 1,
        diskusage => 1,
        loadavg   => 1,
        filestats => 1,
        processes => 1,

    sleep 1;
    my $stat = $lxs->get;


Linux::Info is a fork from Sys::Statistics::Linux distribution.

Sys::Statistics::Linux is a front-end module and gather different linux system information like processor workload, memory usage, network and disk statistics and a lot more. Refer the documentation of the distribution modules to get more information about all possible statistics.


Sys::Statistics::Linux is a great distribution (and I used it a lot), but it was built to recover only Linux statistics when I was also looking for other additional information about the OS.

Linux::Info will provide additional information not available in Sys::Statistics::Linux, as general processor information and hopefully apply patches and suggestions not implemented in the original project.

Sys::Statistics::Linux is also more forgiving regarding compatibility with older perls interpreters, modules version that it depends on and even older OS. If you find that Linux::Info is not available to your old system, you should try it.

What is different from Sys::Statistics::Linux?

Linux::Info has:

  • a more modern Perl 5 code;

  • doesn't use exec syscall to acquire information;

  • provides additional information about the processors;

  • higher Kwalitee;


This distribution collects statistics by the virtual /proc filesystem (procfs) and is developed on the default vanilla kernel. It is tested on x86 hardware with the distributions RHEL, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, Asianux, Slackware, Mandriva and openSuSE (SLES on zSeries as well but a long time ago) on kernel versions 2.4 and/or 2.6. It's possible that it doesn't run on all Linux distributions if some procfs features are deactivated or too much modified.

As example the Linux kernel 2.4 can compiled with the option CONFIG_BLK_STATS what turn on or off block statistics for devices.


Note that if you try to install or run Linux::Info under virtual machines on guest systems that some statistics are not available, such as SockStats, PgSwStats and DiskStats. The reason is that not all /proc data are passed to the guests.

If the installation fails then try to force the installation with:

    cpan> force install Linux::Info

and notice which tests fails, because these statistics maybe not available on the virtual machine - sorry.


The statistics for CpuStats, ProcStats, PgSwStats, NetStats, DiskStats and Processes are deltas, for this reason it's necessary to initialize the statistics before the data can be prepared by get(). These statistics can be initialized with the methods new(), set() and init(). For any option that is set to 1, the statistics will be initialized by the call of new() or set(). The call of init() re-initialize all statistics that are set to 1 or 2. By the call of get() the initial statistics will be updated automatically. Please refer the section "METHODS" to get more information about the usage of new(), set(), init() and get().

Another exigence is to sleep for a while - at least for one second - before the call of get() if you want to get useful statistics. The statistics for SysInfo, MemStats, SockStats, DiskUsage, LoadAVG and FileStats are no deltas. If you need only one of these information you don't need to sleep before the call of get().

The method get() prepares all requested statistics and returns the statistics as a Linux::Info::Compilation object. The initial statistics will be updated.


The Linux Programmer's Manual

If you have questions or don't understand the sense of some statistics then take a look into this awesome documentation.


During the creation of new instances of Linux::Info, you can pass as parameters to the new method different statistics to collect. The statistics available are those listed on "DELTAS".

You can use the "DELTAS" by using their respective package names in lowercase . To activate the gathering of statistics you have to set the options by the call of new() or set().

In addition you can deactivate statistics with set().

The options must be set with one of the following values:

    0 - deactivate statistics
    1 - activate and init statistics
    2 - activate statistics but don't init

In addition it's possible to pass a hash reference with options.

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new(
        processes => {
            init => 1,
            pids => [ 1, 2, 3 ]
        netstats => {
            init => 1,
            initfile => $file,

Option initfile is useful if you want to store initial statistics on the filesystem.

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new(
        cpustats => {
            init     => 1,
            initfile => '/tmp/cpustats.yml',
        diskstats => {
            init     => 1,
            initfile => '/tmp/diskstats.yml',
        netstats => {
            init     => 1,
            initfile => '/tmp/netstats.yml',
        pgswstats => {
            init     => 1,
            initfile => '/tmp/pgswstats.yml',
        procstats => {
            init     => 1,
            initfile => '/tmp/procstats.yml',


    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use Linux::Info;

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new(
        pgswstats => {
            init => 1,
            initfile => '/tmp/pgswstats.yml'

    $lxs->get(); # without to sleep

The initial statistics are stored to the temporary file:

    #> cat /tmp/pgswstats.yml
    pgfault: 397040955
    pgmajfault: 4611
    pgpgin: 21531693
    pgpgout: 49511043
    pswpin: 8
    pswpout: 272
    time: 1236783534.9328

Every time you call the script the initial statistics are loaded/stored from/to the file. This could be helpful if you doesn't run it as daemon and if you want to calculate the average load of your system since the last call.

To get more information about the statistics refer the different modules of the distributions below:

Besides statistics, it is possible to retrieve qualitative information from the host by using Linux::Info::SysInfo but the options just described do not apply to it. If you try to use it Linux::Info will die with an error message.

In order to use Linux::Info::SysInfo, just create an instance of it directly. See Linux::Info::SysInfo for information on that.



Call new() to create a new Linux::Info object. You can call new() with options.

This options would be passed to the method set().

Without options

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new();

Or with options

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new( cpustats => 1 );

Would do nothing

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new( cpustats => 0 );

It's possible to call new() with a hash reference of options.

    my %options = (
        cpustats => 1,
        memstats => 1

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new(\%options);


Call set() to activate or deactivate options.

The following example would call new() and initialize Linux::Info::CpuStats and delete the object of Linux::Info::SysInfo.

        processes =>  0, # deactivate this statistic
        pgswstats =>  1, # activate the statistic and calls new() and init() if necessary
        netstats  =>  2, # activate the statistic and call new() if necessary but not init()

It's possible to call set() with a hash reference of options.

    my %options = (
        cpustats => 2,
        memstats => 2



Call get() to get the collected statistics. get() returns a Linux::Info::Compilation object.

    my $lxs  = Linux::Info->new(\%options);
    my $stat = $lxs->get();

Or you can pass the time to sleep with the call of get().

    my $stat = $lxs->get($time_to_sleep);

Now the statistcs are available with

    # or

Take a look to the documentation of Linux::Info::Compilation for more information.


The call of init() initiate all activated statistics that are necessary for deltas. That could be helpful if your script runs in a endless loop with a high sleep interval. Don't forget that if you call get() that the statistics are deltas since the last time they were initiated.

The following example would calculate average statistics for 30 minutes:

    # initiate cpustats
    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new( cpustats => 1 );

    while ( 1 ) {
        my $stat = $lxs->get;

If you just want a current snapshot of the system each 30 minutes and not the average then the following example would be better for you:

    # do not initiate cpustats
    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new( cpustats => 2 );

    while ( 1 ) {
        $lxs->init;              # init the statistics
        my $stat = $lxs->get(1); # get the statistics
        sleep(1800);             # sleep until the next run

If you want to write a simple command line utility that prints the current workload to the screen then you can use something like this:

    my @order = qw(user system iowait idle nice irq softirq total);
    printf "%-20s%8s%8s%8s%8s%8s%8s%8s%8s\n", 'time', @order;

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new( cpustats => 1 );

    while ( 1 ){
        my $cpu  = $lxs->get(1)->cpustats;
        my $time = $lxs->gettime;
        printf "%-20s%8s%8s%8s%8s%8s%8s%8s%8s\n",
            $time, @{$cpu->{cpu}}{@order};


Call settime() to define a POSIX formatted time stamp, generated with localtime().

    $lxs->settime('%Y/%m/%d %H:%M:%S');

To get more information about the formats take a look at strftime() of or the manpage strftime(3).


gettime() returns a POSIX formatted time stamp, @foo in list and $bar in scalar context. If the time format isn't set then the default format "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S" will be set automatically. You can also set a time format with gettime().

    my $date_time = $lxs->gettime;


    my ($date, $time) = $lxs->gettime();


    my ($date, $time) = $lxs->gettime('%Y/%m/%d %H:%M:%S');


A very simple perl script could looks like this:

    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use Linux::Info;

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new( cpustats => 1 );
    my $stat = $lxs->get;
    my $cpu  = $stat->cpustats->{cpu};

    print "Statistics for CpuStats (all)\n";
    print "  user      $cpu->{user}\n";
    print "  nice      $cpu->{nice}\n";
    print "  system    $cpu->{system}\n";
    print "  idle      $cpu->{idle}\n";
    print "  ioWait    $cpu->{iowait}\n";
    print "  total     $cpu->{total}\n";

Set and get a time stamp:

    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use Linux::Info;

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new();
    $lxs->settime('%Y/%m/%d %H:%M:%S');
    print $lxs->gettime, "\n";

If you want to know how the data structure looks like you can use Data::Dumper to check it:

    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use Linux::Info;
    use Data::Dumper;

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new( cpustats => 1 );
    my $stat = $lxs->get;

    print Dumper($stat);

How to get the top 5 processes with the highest cpu workload:

    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use Linux::Info;

    my $lxs = Linux::Info->new( processes => 1 );
    my $stat = $lxs->get;
    my @top5 = $stat->pstop( ttime => 5 );





Alceu Rodrigues de Freitas Junior <>


This software is Copyright (c) 2015 by Alceu Rodrigues de Freitas Junior.

This is free software, licensed under:

  The GNU General Public License, Version 3, June 2007