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hyperfine

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A command-line benchmarking tool.

Demo: Benchmarking fd and find:

hyperfine

Features

  • Statistical analysis across multiple runs.
  • Support for arbitrary shell commands.
  • Constant feedback about the benchmark progress and current estimates.
  • Warmup runs can be executed before the actual benchmark.
  • Cache-clearing commands can be set up before each timing run.
  • Statistical outlier detection to detect interference from other programs and caching effects.
  • Export results to various formats: CSV, JSON, Markdown, AsciiDoc.
  • Parameterized benchmarks (e.g. vary the number of threads).
  • Cross-platform

Usage

Basic benchmarks

To run a benchmark, you can simply call hyperfine <command>.... The argument(s) can be any shell command. For example:

hyperfine 'sleep 0.3'

Hyperfine will automatically determine the number of runs to perform for each command. By default, it will perform at least 10 benchmarking runs and measure for at least 3 seconds. To change this, you can use the -r/--runs option:

hyperfine --runs 5 'sleep 0.3'

If you want to compare the runtimes of different programs, you can pass multiple commands:

hyperfine 'hexdump file' 'xxd file'

Warmup runs and preparation commands

For programs that perform a lot of disk I/O, the benchmarking results can be heavily influenced by disk caches and whether they are cold or warm.

If you want to run the benchmark on a warm cache, you can use the -w/--warmup option to perform a certain number of program executions before the actual benchmark:

hyperfine --warmup 3 'grep -R TODO *'

Conversely, if you want to run the benchmark for a cold cache, you can use the -p/--prepare option to run a special command before each timing run. For example, to clear harddisk caches on Linux, you can run

sync; echo 3 | sudo tee /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches

To use this specific command with hyperfine, call sudo -v to temporarily gain sudo permissions and then call:

hyperfine --prepare 'sync; echo 3 | sudo tee /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches' 'grep -R TODO *'

Parameterized benchmarks

If you want to run a series of benchmarks where a single parameter is varied (say, the number of threads), you can use the -P/--parameter-scan option and call:

hyperfine --prepare 'make clean' --parameter-scan num_threads 1 12 'make -j {num_threads}'

This also works with decimal numbers. The -D/--parameter-step-size option can be used to control the step size:

hyperfine --parameter-scan delay 0.3 0.7 -D 0.2 'sleep {delay}'

This runs sleep 0.3, sleep 0.5 and sleep 0.7.

For non-numeric parameters, you can also supply a list of values with the -L/--parameter-list option:

hyperfine -L compiler gcc,clang '{compiler} -O2 main.cpp'

Intermediate shell

By default, commands are executed using a predefined shell (/bin/sh on Unix, cmd.exe on Windows). If you want to use a different shell, you can use the -S, --shell <SHELL> option:

hyperfine --shell zsh 'for i in {1..10000}; do echo test; done'

Note that hyperfine always corrects for the shell spawning time. To do this, it performs a calibration procedure where it runs the shell with an empty command (multiple times), to measure the startup time of the shell. It will then subtract this time from the total to show the actual time used by the command in question.

If you want to run a benchmark without an intermediate shell, you can use the -N or --shell=none option. This is helpful for very fast commands (< 5 ms) where the shell startup overhead correction would produce a significant amount of noise. Note that you can not use shell syntax like * or ~ in this case.

hyperfine -N 'grep TODO /home/user'

Shell functions and aliases

If you are using bash, you can export shell functions to directly benchmark them with hyperfine:

$ my_function() { sleep 1; }
$ export -f my_function
$ hyperfine my_function

If you are using a different shell, or if you want to benchmark shell aliases, you may try to put them in a separate file:

echo 'my_function() { sleep 1 }' > /tmp/my_function.sh
echo 'alias my_alias="sleep 1"' > /tmp/my_alias.sh
hyperfine 'source /tmp/my_function.sh; eval my_function'
hyperfine 'source /tmp/my_alias.sh; eval my_alias'

Exporting results

Hyperfine has multiple options for exporting benchmark results to CSV, JSON, Markdown and other formats (see --help text for details).

Markdown

You can use the --export-markdown <file> option to create tables like the following:

Command Mean [s] Min [s] Max [s] Relative
find . -iregex '.*[0-9]\.jpg$' 2.275 ± 0.046 2.243 2.397 9.79 ± 0.22
find . -iname '*[0-9].jpg' 1.427 ± 0.026 1.405 1.468 6.14 ± 0.13
fd -HI '.*[0-9]\.jpg$' 0.232 ± 0.002 0.230 0.236 1.00

JSON

The JSON output is useful if you want to analyze the benchmark results in more detail. The scripts/ folder includes a lot of helpful Python programs to further analyze benchmark results and create helpful visualizations, like a histogram of runtimes or a whisker plot to compare multiple benchmarks:

Detailed benchmark flowchart

The following chart explains the execution order of various timing runs when using options like --warmup, --prepare <cmd>, --setup <cmd> or --cleanup <cmd>:

Installation

Packaging status

On Ubuntu

Download the appropriate .deb package from the Release page and install it via dpkg:

wget https://github.com/sharkdp/hyperfine/releases/download/v1.15.0/hyperfine_1.15.0_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i hyperfine_1.15.0_amd64.deb

On Fedora

On Fedora, hyperfine can be installed from the official repositories:

dnf install hyperfine

On Alpine Linux

On Alpine Linux, hyperfine can be installed from the official repositories:

apk add hyperfine

On Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, hyperfine can be installed from the official repositories:

pacman -S hyperfine

On Funtoo Linux

On Funtoo Linux, hyperfine can be installed from core-kit:

emerge app-benchmarks/hyperfine

On NixOS

On NixOS, hyperfine can be installed from the official repositories:

nix-env -i hyperfine

On Void Linux

Hyperfine can be installed via xbps

xbps-install -S hyperfine

On macOS

Hyperfine can be installed via Homebrew:

brew install hyperfine

Or you can install using MacPorts:

sudo port selfupdate
sudo port install hyperfine

On FreeBSD

Hyperfine can be installed via pkg:

pkg install hyperfine

On OpenBSD

doas pkg_add hyperfine

With conda

Hyperfine can be installed via conda from the conda-forge channel:

conda install -c conda-forge hyperfine

With cargo (Linux, macOS, Windows)

Hyperfine can be installed from source via cargo:

cargo install hyperfine

Make sure that you use Rust 1.57 or higher.

From binaries (Linux, macOS, Windows)

Download the corresponding archive from the Release page.

Alternative tools

Hyperfine is inspired by bench.

Integration with other tools

Chronologer is a tool that uses hyperfine to visualize changes in benchmark timings across your Git history.

Make sure to check out the scripts folder in this repository for a set of tools to work with hyperfine benchmark results.

Origin of the name

The name hyperfine was chosen in reference to the hyperfine levels of caesium 133 which play a crucial role in the definition of our base unit of time — the second.

License

hyperfine is dual-licensed under the terms of the MIT License and the Apache License 2.0.

See the LICENSE-APACHE and LICENSE-MIT files for details.