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Favorite Linux tools for HANA

Interested in your favorite Linux tools on your HANA appliance. Please share! Note that I mean those that are not installed by default and you need to grab from the web.

1) p7zip

p7zip allows you to compress files larger than 32GB, which is very handy. Plus, it has some parallel algorithms for compression which can speed things up.

2) pigz

pigz is AWESOME! Thanks to Ethan Jewett for introducing me. It requires zlib from and pthreads and it has a completely parallel algorithm for GNU zip (gz) and it is gzip/gunzip compatible. It can compress files 40x faster on a 40 core machine! Unfortunately it doesn’t decompress any faster, though that is quick on most systems.

3) rar

Get the Linux version of RAR for very good compression… but slow speeds.

4) iotop

iotop allows you to look at I/O processes in a HANA system. Very handy to measure load performance.

5) iftop

iftop is very handy when you need to see intra-node traffic in a HANA scale-out cluster. It shows network traffic.

6) GNU Parallel

GNU parallel allows you to run N processes in parallel. When you have single-threaded processes on a Linux HANA system you can get massive speed-ups.

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    • Neither SAP nor myself certify 3rd party software that you install on your PC, Laptop or HANA Server. Did you expect anything else? 🙂

      Do check SAP Note 1730996 though, it says "Up to now, no software components or software versions are known to have caused problems in the customer environments or in the laboratories of SAP or SAP HANA hardware suppliers."


      • 😀 No, I do not expect that SAP would refrain from not publishing any whitelists or "internal documentatioin not authorized by the lawyers".

        At least, we have an empty blacklist.

        What I would like to see: A "community list of tools" positively tested by reliable sources.

        • Well it's like this. HANA appliances are pretty sensitive to being ruined by lazy administrators installing hundreds of programs.

          From a developer's perspective they are also really powerful 40/80-core systems that have really fast I/O, so they are an awesome way to get stuff done fast.

          I regularly use HANA appliances for ETL and CSV manipulation, but they shouldn't be used that way in production.

          All the tools above work great and are useful, in my experience.


  • Some of my favourite tools are:

    htop - like top but horizontal with pretty colours and better navigation.

    screen - gives you a virtual detachable tty, useful for log running commands, think of nohup but better.

    /proc - not a command but the /proc file system gives lots of really useful information about processes, disks, network, memory etc.  Try 'man proc' for more information

    mmdsh - if you're using an IBM HANA scale out solution, you can use mmdsh to run commands on multiple nodes at the same time, really useful for admin.  Just remember to export the WCOLL variable.

    python - Not only is python a powerful programming language, it also has a native HANA interface.

  • Ok, time to chip in...

    collectl and it's helper tool colmux for distributed system monitoring.

    For parallel compression pbzip2 showed impressive performance and automatic adaption for the degree of parallelism.

    In general useful is sfk (Swiss File Knife | Free Security & Utilities software downloads at  - as it works the same way on Windows and Linux and brings a lot of stuff into one place.

    Finally, the ssh/XTerm tool of my choice would be MobaXTerm. It's all in one place (X-Server and SSH, SCP... )

    It's a nice tool that works just like a charm.

    - Lars

    • Yuck, did you say Graphical Desktop? I change the runlevel to 3 in all HANA systems I'm near. By the time you get near large-scale HANA systems with 8+ nodes, you can't be dealing with a GUI anyhow!

      Only time I ever use X-Windows is to use hdbdmin for hardcore performance troubleshooting. Otherwise it's command line all the way.

      • Yup, graphical desktop you read this correctly. There are plenty SAP customers that have a SAP Windows only environment and they find the transition to the command line difficult. For these customers the xrdp is a fine solution.

        I always combine command line and graphical desktop and pick the one that is on that moment the best tool for the job.

        Because my laptop is running Linux Mint to I would run HDBAdmin like this:

        ssh -X <sid>adm@myhanaserver /usr/sap/TST/HDB40/