kprof – kernel profiling


bind -a #K /dev

unhandled troff command .sp

/dev/kpctl /dev/kpdata


The kprof device provides simple profiling data for the operating system kernel. The data accumulates by recording the program counter of the kernel at each ‘tick’ of the system clock.

The file kpdata holds the accumulated counts as 4-byte integers in big-endian byte order. The size of the file depends on the size of kernel text. The first count holds the total number of clock ticks during profiling; the second the number of ticks that occurred while the kernel was running. The rest each hold the number of ticks the kernel program counter was within the corresponding 8-byte range of kernel text, starting from the base of kernel text.

The file kpctl controls profiling. Writing the string start to kpctl begins profiling; stop terminates it. The message startclr restarts profiling after zeroing the array of counts.

The program kprof (see prof(1)) formats the data for presentation.


The following rc(1) script runs a test program while profiling the kernel and reports the results.

unhandled troff command .sp

	bind -a '#K' /dev
	echo start > /dev/kpctl
	echo stop > /dev/kpctl
	kprof /386/9pcdisk /dev/kpdata