mpstat shares some features with
sar, mostly in its ability to generate processor statistics at intervals, and a set number of times. This is useful in the same way as
sar, by allowing you to poll the processor when you know it will be taxed.
Commands are also similar;
sar 2 5 will behave in the same way as
mpstat 2 5, with some small but obvious variations.
Taking into account the other programs that are available in sysstat (some of which will come later), there’s not a huge difference between
mpstat, except perhaps in the specific processor data either one offers. By default,
sar shows a little less, and
mpstat shows a little more. But some is shared between the two.
And you can’t really appreciate it with this machine, but
mpstat has the ability to split out its results according to processor. That might be important if you’re working with one of these. 😯 I keep watching the recycling shop, but nothing yet. …
mpstat‘s output is sparse enough and well-spaced enough that you might consider cramming it into some other application. colorwrapper, anyone? 😉