lperfex 1.0 released

Troy Baer troy at osc.edu
Thu Aug 31 13:30:22 PDT 2000

Hi all,

I'm happy to announce that lperfex 1.0 is now available.  Lperfex is a
hardware performance monitoring tool for Linux/IA32 systems, using the
interface provided by Erik Hendriks' performance patch and its descendent
in the PAPI 1.1 beta release.  If you've used Cray's hpm or SGI's perfex,
then lperfex should seem fairly familiar.  If not, think of lperfex as a
variation on the time command which can also track low-level hardware
events like floating point operations, cache misses, and so on.  It is not
intrusive into the code whose performance it measures and does not require
special compilation or code instrumentation.

The 1.0 release changes how wallclock and CPU time used by the measured
process are recovered from the get_rusage() and times() syscalls, now
using a method that is (hopefully) more accurate.  Several new performance
metrics have also been added, and the online documentation has been
improved to give examples of which event or events to specify on the
command line to measure a given metric.

Documentation and code for lperfex is available from
http://www.osc.edu/~troy/lperfex/.  The code is licensed under the
GPL.  To use it, you need to be running Linux with Erik Hendriks'
performance counters patch and library v0.7 (available from
http://www.beowulf.org/software/) on an Intel P6 core processor.  The
libperf library and Linux kernel patches that are distributed with
PAPI 1.1 beta (http://icl.cs.utk.edu/projects/papi/) are also be
compatible and provide a fairly nice low-level instrumentation library
as well.

Lperfex 1.0 will likely be the last version to rely directly on the
perf patch from the Beowulf.org site.  Future versions will probably
be based on the PAPI low-level interface, as this should make lperfex
portable to a number of non-Linux/x86 platforms.

Troy Baer                       email:  troy at osc.edu
Science & Technology Support    phone:  614-292-9701
Ohio Supercomputer Center       web:  http://oscinfo.osc.edu

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