pprof is a tool for visualization and analysis of profiling data
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aalexand Make '-noinlines' a separate flag, introduce '-filefunctions' granula…
…rity. (#420)

This change consists of two relatively independent parts, but they are
both about handling the granularity, so bundling them together.

First, in #415 there is a discussion that having a granularity mode by
source lines but with inlines hidden would be useful. The agreement is
also that adding `-linenoinlines` granularity would make the granularity
flags too messy (and they are already somewhat messy with `-addresses`
and `-addressnoinlines`. So, it was proposed to make `-noinlines` a
separate flag, which is what this change does. Note that the flag is now
pulled out of the granularity group so it's a bit of backward
incompatible change but I think it is acceptable. For the example in
issue #415 the user would now be able to specify `-list foo -noinlines`
to produce annotated source where the metrics from the inlined functions
are attributed to the calling inliner line.

With this change, I am also dropping the `-addressnoinlines` granularity
which is now supported as `-addresses -noinlines` combination. I
couldn't find any usage of this option at least internally at Google, so
I think it's safe to remove it.

Second, I am adding a separate `-filefunctions` granularity which groups
the data by both function and file. This is a follow-up to #110 from the
past where we changed the `-functions` granularity to not group by file
(it used to), and since then there was a couple of reports where using
just function name alone would over-aggregate the data in cases when a
function with the same name is contained in multiple source files (e.g.
see b/18874275 internally).

Also, make a number of assorted documentation and `-help` fixes.
Latest commit 7dadf64 Sep 21, 2018


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pprof is a tool for visualization and analysis of profiling data.

pprof reads a collection of profiling samples in profile.proto format and generates reports to visualize and help analyze the data. It can generate both text and graphical reports (through the use of the dot visualization package).

profile.proto is a protocol buffer that describes a set of callstacks and symbolization information. A common usage is to represent a set of sampled callstacks from statistical profiling. The format is described on the proto/profile.proto file. For details on protocol buffers, see https://developers.google.com/protocol-buffers

Profiles can be read from a local file, or over http. Multiple profiles of the same type can be aggregated or compared.

If the profile samples contain machine addresses, pprof can symbolize them through the use of the native binutils tools (addr2line and nm).

This is not an official Google product.

Building pprof


  • Go development kit. Requires Go 1.9 or newer. Follow these instructions to install the go tool and set up GOPATH.

  • Graphviz: http://www.graphviz.org/ Optional, used to generate graphic visualizations of profiles

To build and install it, use the go get tool.

go get -u github.com/google/pprof

Remember to set GOPATH to the directory where you want pprof to be installed. The binary will be in $GOPATH/bin and the sources under $GOPATH/src/github.com/google/pprof.

Basic usage

pprof can read a profile from a file or directly from a server via http. Specify the profile input(s) in the command line, and use options to indicate how to format the report.

Generate a text report of the profile, sorted by hotness:

% pprof -top [main_binary] profile.pb.gz
    main_binary:  Local path to the main program binary, to enable symbolization
    profile.pb.gz: Local path to the profile in a compressed protobuf, or
                   URL to the http service that serves a profile.

Generate a graph in an SVG file, and open it with a web browser:

pprof -web [main_binary] profile.pb.gz

Run pprof on interactive mode:

If no output formatting option is specified, pprof runs on interactive mode, where reads the profile and accepts interactive commands for visualization and refinement of the profile.

pprof [main_binary] profile.pb.gz

This will open a simple shell that takes pprof commands to generate reports.
Type 'help' for available commands/options.

Run pprof via a web interface

If the -http flag is specified, pprof starts a web server at the specified host:port that provides an interactive web-based interface to pprof. Host is optional, and is "localhost" by default. Port is optional, and is a random available port by default. -http=":" starts a server locally at a random port.

pprof -http=[host]:[port] [main_binary] profile.pb.gz

The preceding command should automatically open your web browser at the right page; if not, you can manually visit the specified port in your web browser.

Using pprof with Linux Perf

pprof can read perf.data files generated by the Linux perf tool by using the perf_to_profile program from the perf_data_converter package.

Further documentation

See doc/README.md for more detailed end-user documentation.

See CONTRIBUTING.md for contribution documentation.

See proto/README.md for a description of the profile.proto format.