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A tool for measuring energy consumption of (Intel) CPUs
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CPU Energy Meter

Build Status BSD License Releases DOI via Zenodo

CPU Energy Meter is a Linux tool that allows to monitor power consumption of Intel CPUs at fine time granularities (few tens of milliseconds). Power monitoring is available for the following power domains:

  • per package domain (CPU socket)
  • per core domain (all the CPU cores on a package)
  • per uncore domain (uncore components, e.g., integrated graphics on client CPUs)
  • per memory node (memory local to a package, server CPUs only)
  • per platform (all devices in the platform that receive power from integrated power delivery mechanism, e.g., processor cores, SOC, memory, add-on or peripheral devices)

To do this, the tool uses a feature of Intel CPUs that is called RAPL (Running Average Power Limit), which is documented in the Intel Software Developers Manual, Volume 3B Chapter 14.9. RAPL is available on CPUs from the generation Sandy Bridge and later. Because CPU Energy Meter uses the maximal possible measurement interval (depending on the hardware this is between a few minutes and an hour), it causes negligible overhead.

CPU Energy Meter is a fork of the Intel Power Gadget and developed at the Software Systems Lab of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich) under the BSD License.


The recommended way is to download the latest Debian package and install it.

Dependencies of CPU Energy Meter are libcap, which is available on most Linux distributions in package libcap (e.g., Fedora) or libcap2 (e.g, Debian and Ubuntu: sudo apt install libcap2), and a Linux kernel with the MSR and CPUID modules (available by default)

Alternatively, for running CPU Energy Meter from source (quick and dirty):

sudo apt install libcap-dev
sudo modprobe msr
sudo modprobe cpuid
sudo ./cpu-energy-meter

It is also possible (and recommended) to run CPU Energy Meter without root. To do so, the following needs to be done:

  • Load kernel modules msr and cpuid.
  • Add a group msr.
  • Add a Udev rule that grants access to /dev/cpu/*/msr to group msr (example).
  • Run chgrp msr, chmod 2711, and setcap cap_sys_rawio=ep on the binary (make setup is a shortcut for this).

The provided Debian package does these steps automatically and lets all users execute CPU Energy Meter.

How to use it

cpu-energy-meter [-d] [-e sampling_delay_ms] [-r]

The tool will continue counting the cumulative energy use of all supported CPUs in the background and will report a key-value list of its measurements when it receives SIGINT (Ctrl+C):

| CPU-Energy-Meter            Socket 0 |
Duration                  2.504502 sec
Package                   3.769287 Joule
Core                      0.317749 Joule
Uncore                    0.010132 Joule
DRAM                      0.727783 Joule
PSYS                     29.792603 Joule

To get intermediate measurements, send signal USR1 to the process.

Optionally, the tool can be executed with parameter -r to print the output as a raw (easily parsable) list:


The parameter -d adds debug output. By default, CPU Energy Meter computes the necessary measurement interval automatically, this can be overridden with the parameter -e.

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