Re: [perf] howto switch from pfmon

From: Ingo Molnar
Date: Tue Jun 23 2009 - 09:15:14 EST

* Brice Goglin <Brice.Goglin@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hello,
> I am trying to play with perfcounters in current git (actually in
> latest mmotm). I'd like to reproduce what I previously did with
> pfmon, but I couldn't so far.
> Something like
> pfmon --follow-exec 'foobar' -e
> -- <shell script>
> gives the number of memory accesses to dram node #0 and #1 for all
> processes whose name matches 'foobar'.
> So there are several questions here:
> 1) is it possible to specify counter names like the above or do we have
> to use raw counter numbers? I tried raw numbers from [1] without
> success. How am I supposed to find and specify these raw numbers?
> 2) how do we specify "subevents"?
> 3) is there anything similar to --follow-exec, or --follow-pthreads for
> getting separated outputs for each thread?
> I guess there are still a lot of things on the TODOlist but I'd
> like to understand a bit more where things are going. Sorry I
> didn't read all the archives about this, there are way too many of
> them recently :)

Yeah, there's indeed still a lot on the TODO list :-)

CPU_TO_DRAM_REQUESTS_TO_TARGET_NODE is a Barcelona hardware event,
so if you know that it maps to raw ID 0x100000e0 then you can always
extend the events that 'perf' knows about via raw events:

$ perf stat -e cycles -e instructions -e r1000ffe0 ./hackbench 10
Time: 0.186

Performance counter stats for './hackbench 10':

4381248335 cycles
1964394846 instructions # 0.448 IPC
838 raw 0x1000ffe0

0.215382037 seconds time elapsed.

That 'r1000ffe0' is the raw event. You can also do a profile with
such events:

perf record -f -e r1000ffe0 ./hackbench 10

and look at it via 'perf report'.

Figuring out raw codes is certainly avoidable, we could probably
integrate all the oprofile (and PAPI) event names into perf too,
from the /usr/share/oprofile/ event lists perhaps - for easier
migration for those who got used to those event names. It also gives
a wider set of events - which is useful if you got used to any
specific name.

The Barcelona events are listed in listed in section 3.14 of "BIOS
and Kernel Developer's Guide for AMD Familiy 10h Processors", that's
where all the projects take these symbols from. If you want to
contribute then creating such tables for 'perf', for model-specific
events would certainly be useful.

[ Note, there's no need to specify any --follow-* flags as that is
implicit in 'perf'. (and you'll probably also notice that perf
stat is a lot faster at following fast-forking or
context-switching workloads than is pfmon, because it's not ptrace
based.) ]

And please let us know if you see any weirdness/difficulty while
using 'perf' or if you just notice some quirky thing in the tool.


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