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Using gnuplot to display data in your Web pages

Feb 03, 2010, 04:32 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Tansley)

"Gnuplot is a tool used to generate trends and graphs. It is typically used for time-series-based data gathering, but is not restricted to this; static data can also be used. Gnuplot can be run in either batch or on the fly, with the results being presented by a graphics viewer or Web browser. This article demonstrates how to use gnuplot using a batch file to generate data collected from sar and other data sources. Gnuplot is very rich in command options using the set operator. However, to generate basic graphs using line or boxes, it requires some knowledge of the documentation.

"For this demonstration, I will present the graphs using a Web server.

"Gnuplot overview

"Gnuplot converts raw tabular data into a graphic file image. Popular formats are png, pdf, and jpeg, and they can then be presented either on the fly or directly to an X terminal, Web page, or a general graphic viewer utility. The image can also be imported into documents. A command interface is used to interact with gnuplot using the 'set' commands to specify how the image is to be formatted and presented. Typically this includes the sizing of the graph, colors to be used, the scale, x,y coordinates, and the output image name. The plot command is then used to actually generate the image using the gnuplot engine."

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