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Developer(s)Robert Osterlund
Stable release
1.19.0 / September 10, 2007 September 10, 2007; 11 years ago (2007-09-10)
Preview release
1.19.1pre1 / May 20, 2008; 10 years ago (2008-05-20)
Operating systemCross-platform
PlatformUnix, Linux
TypeSystem Monitoring, Configuration management, System administration, Network management, Network monitoring, Host-based intrusion detection system, Content management system, Web content management system, Scripting language
LicenseGNU General Public License version 2 and later

PIKT is cross-categorical, multi-purpose software for global-view, site-at-a-time system and network administration. Applicability includes system monitoring, configuration management, server and network administration, system security, and many other uses.

PIKT consists of a feature-rich file preprocessor; a scripting language; a flexible, centrally directed process scheduler; a customizing file installer; a collection of command-line extensions; and other useful tools.

The PIKT binaries are written using a combination of C, lex (flex), and yacc (bison). PIKT's configuration combines free-form text files, Pikt scripts, and programs written in other popular scripting languages.

PIKT is in widespread use at thousands of sites around the world, although its popularity is diminished by the perception that it is complicated to set up and difficult to administer. Recent changes have mitigated the complexity and difficulty somewhat. PIKT's user community is low-profile and not very active.

PIKT was first released publicly on October 17, 1998, and has undergone numerous revisions since then. As of 2008, it is still being actively maintained.

Project Name[edit]

PIKT is an acronym: Problem Informant/Killer Tool.


PIKT has been ported to run on Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and several other UNIX variants. By design, PIKT is intended for managing a complex of many heterogeneous networked workstations.


PIKT is Open Source software distributed under the GNU General Public License version 2 as published by the Free Software Foundation.


PIKT was written and is currently maintained by Robert Osterlund. Harlan Stenn maintains the automake/autoconf build procedures, and Michel Blanc develops the project's Perl utilities and RPMs.

Although originally created at the University of Chicago (which for a time owned the PIKT trademark, since lapsed), PIKT is no longer affiliated with that institution.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]