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.\" autobench man page - Copyright (2001) Julian T. J. Midgley <>
.\" This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
.\" it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
.\" the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
.\" (at your option) any later version.
.\" This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
.\" but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
.\" GNU General Public License for more details.
.\" You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
.\" along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
.\" Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
.TH AUTOBENCH 1 "October 14, 2002" "" ""
autobench \- Automates the benchmarking of web servers using httperf
.BR "autobench [OPTIONS]..."
.B autobench
is used to to automate web server benchmarking. It runs httperf
against the specified host or hosts, ramping up the number of
requested connections, and logging the results in TSV or CSV format
files. Most options can also be specified in the configuration file
\fB$HOME/.autobench.conf\fR. Options specified on the command line override
those in the configuration file.
.B autobench
conducts benchmarks from a single test machine against
the specified host or host. To run a distributed benchmark (with
several test machines), use \fBautobench_admin\fR and
\fBautobenchd\fR. See the man page for autobench_admin(1) for
Note that all of the options below with the exception of --quiet may
also be used with
.B autobench_admin\fR.
.B --file \fIfilename\fR
Send output to \fIfilename\fR instead of STDOUT
.B --high_rate \fIhrate\fR
The number of connections per second to open at the end of the test
.B --low_rate \fIlrate\fR
The number of connections per second to open at the start of the test
.B --rate_step \fIstep\fR
autobench runs httperf numerous times against the target machines,
starting at \fIlrate\fR connections per second, increasing the number
of connections per second requested by \fIstep\fR until \fIhrate\fR is
.B --host1 \fIhostname\fR
The hostname of the first server under test
.B --host2 \fIhostname\fR
The hostname of the second server under test (ignored if --single_host
is specified)
.B --port1 \fIport\fR
The port number on which host1's server is listening
.B --port2 \fIport\fR
The port number on which host2's server is listening (ignored if --single_host
is specified)
.B --num_conn \fInconn\fR
\fInconn\fR is the number total number of connections to open per test
.B --const_test_time \fIlength\fR
Used instead of --num_conn, this causes autobench to calculate a value
for \fInconn\fR for each test to make the test last \fIlength\fR
seconds. It is recommended that this be used instead of --num_conn.
For each test, \fInconn\fR is set to (current_rate *
\fIlength\fR). Note that no results will be
obtained if \fIlength\fR is set to less than 10 seconds (since httperf
samples only once every 10 seconds), and meaningful results (reproducible
results derived from a significant number of samples) will require
each test to last at least 60 seconds. Use low values to gain a feel
for the performance of the servers under test and to find appropriate
values for --low_rate and --high_rate, and much higher values (at
least 300 seconds for serious benchmarking) to obtain accurate results.
.B --num_call \fIncall\fR
specifies the number of requests to send down each connection. (Total
number of requests per second = current rate * ncall.)
.B --output_fmt tsv|csv
Set the output format to either CSV or TSV
.B --quiet
Don't display httperf output on STDOUT. This option should always be
used if --file is not specified, since the httperf output will
otherwise break up the results table.
.B --single_host
Only test a single server
.B --timeout \fItime\fR
\fItime\fR is the time in seconds for which httperf will wait for a
response from the server - responses received after this time will be
counted as errors.
.B --uri1 \fIuri\fR
The URI to test on the first server (eg. /foo/bar/index.html)
.B --uri2 \fIuri\fR
The URI to test on the second server
.B --debug
Print additional debugging information on stderr
.B --version
Returns the current version
Notice that in each of the examples below, configuration options not
specified on the command line will be taken from the configuration
file (\fB$HOME/.autobench.conf\fR)
autobench --single_host --host1 --uri1 /index.html --quiet --file bench.tsv
Benchmark using the URI /index.html, don't display
httperf output on STDOUT, and save the results in 'bench.tsv'.
autobench --host1 --host2 --uri1 /10k.txt --uri2 /10k.txt --rate_step 50 --quiet
Conduct a comparative test of and,
increasing the requested number of connections per second by 50 on
each iteration. Output will go to STDOUT.
Additional options may be passed to httperf by including them in the
configuration file \fB$HOME/.autobench.conf\fR prefixed with
"httperf_", as in the example below. Options that don't take
arguments may be specified by assigning them a value of NULL. The
following lines add '--add-header "Authorization: Basic
cm9iOjBjdGFuZQ==" --ssl --print-reply body --print-request header' to
the httperf command line, for example.
httperf_add-header = "Authorization: Basic cm9iOjBjdGFuZQ=="
httperf_ssl = NULL
httperf_print-reply = body
httperf_print-request = header
.I [/usr/local]/etc/autobench.conf
Default configuration file, copied into the user's home directory when
.B autobench
.B autobench_admin
is first run. Defaults to \fI/etc/autobench.conf\fR if
autobench was installed from the Debian package,
\fI/usr/local/etc/autobench.conf\fR otherwise.
.I $HOME/.autobench.conf
The active autobench configuration file.
If zero replies are received for any reason, autobench will print the
message: "Zero replies received, test invalid: rate <r>" to stderr
where <r> will be the rate at which the problem occurred. The output
will also contain an error percentage of 101 for that rate.
.B autobench_admin\fR(1),
.B autobenchd\fR(1),
.B httperf\fR(1),
.B crfile\fR(1),
.B bench2graph\fR(1)
.B The Linux HTTP Benchmarking HOWTO \fRat
has further examples of the use of autobench.
Julian T. J. Midgley <>
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