prof - display profile data
prof [-ChsVz] [-a | c | n | t] [-o | x] [-g | l] [-
m mdata] [prog]
The prof command interprets a profile file produced by the
monitor function. The symbol table in the object file prog
(a.out by default) is read and correlated with a profile
file (mon.out by default). For each external text symbol
the percentage of time spent executing between the address
of that symbol and the address of the next is printed,
together with the number of times that function was called
and the average number of milliseconds per call.
The mutually exclusive options -a, -c, -n, and -t determine
the type of sorting of the output lines:
- a Sort by increasing symbol address.
-c Sort by decreasing number of calls.
-n Sort lexically by symbol name.
-t Sort by decreasing percentage of total time (default).
The mutually exclusive options -o and -x specify the print-
ing of the address of each symbol monitored:
- o Print each symbol address (in octal) along with the
-x Print each symbol address (in hexadecimal) along with
the symbol name.
The mutually exclusive options -g and -l control the type of
symbols to be reported. The -l option must be used with
care; it applies the time spent in a static function to the
preceding (in memory) global function, instead of giving the
static function a separate entry in the report. If all
static functions are properly located, this feature can be
very useful. If not, the resulting report may be misleading.
Assume that A and B are global functions and only A calls
static function S. If S is located immediately after A in
the source code (that is, if S is properly located), then,
with the -l option, the amount of time spent in A can
easily be determined, including the time spent in S. If,
however, both A and B call S, then, if the -l option is
used, the report will be misleading; the time spent during
B's call to S will be attributed to A, making it appear as
if more time had been spent in A than really had. In this
case, function S cannot be properly located.
- g List the time spent in static (non-global) functions
separately. The -g option function is the opposite of
the -l function.
-l Suppress printing statically declared functions. If
this option is given, time spent executing in a static
function is allocated to the closest global function
loaded before the static function in the executable.
This option is the default.
It is the opposite of the -g function and should be
used with care.
The following options may be used in any combination:
- C Demangle C++ symbol names before printing them out.
-h Suppress the heading normally printed on the report.
This is useful if the report is to be processed
Use file mdata instead of mon.out as the input profile
-s Print a summary of several of the monitoring parame-
ters and statistics on the standard error output.
-V Print prof version information on the standard error
-z Include all symbols in the profile range, even if
associated with zero number of calls and zero time.
A program creates a profile file if it has been link edited
with the -p option of cc(1B). This option to the cc(1B) com-
mand arranges for calls to monitor at the beginning and end
of execution. It is the call to monitor at the end of execu-
tion that causes the system to write a profile file. The
number of calls to a function is tallied if the -p option
was used when the file containing the function was compiled.
A single function may be split into subfunctions for profil-
ing by means of the MARK macro. See prof(5).
The name of the file created by a profiled program is
controlled by the environment variable PROFDIR. If
PROFDIR is not set, mon.out is produced in the direc-
tory current when the program terminates. If
PROFDIR=string, string/pid.progname is produced, where
progname consists of argv with any path prefix
removed, and pid is the process ID of the program.
If PROFDIR is set, but null, no profiling output is
default profile file
a.out default namelist (object) file
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWbtool |
cc(1B), gprof(1), exit(2), pcsample(2), profil(2),
malloc(3C), malloc(3MALLOC), monitor(3C), attributes(5),
The times reported in successive identical runs may show
variances because of varying cache-hit ratios that result
from sharing the cache with other processes. Even if a pro-
gram seems to be the only one using the machine, hidden
background or asynchronous processes may blur the data. In
rare cases, the clock ticks initiating recording of the pro-
gram counter may "beat" with loops in a program, grossly
distorting measurements. Call counts are always recorded
Only programs that call exit or return from main are
guaranteed to produce a profile file, unless a final call to
monitor is explicitly coded.
The times for static functions are attributed to the preced-
ing external text symbol if the -g option is not used. How-
ever, the call counts for the preceding function are still
correct; that is, the static function call counts are not
added to the call counts of the external function.
If more than one of the options -t, -c, -a, and -n is
specified, the last option specified is used and the user is
LD_LIBRARY_PATH must not contain /usr/lib as a component
when compiling a program for profiling. If LD_LIBRARY_PATH
contains /usr/lib, the program will not be linked correctly
with the profiling versions of the system libraries in
/usr/lib/libp. See gprof(1).
Functions such as mcount(), _mcount(), moncontrol(), _mon-
control(), monitor(), and _monitor() may appear in the prof
report. These functions are part of the profiling implemen-
tation and thus account for some amount of the runtime over-
head. Since these functions are not present in an unpro-
filed application, time accumulated and call counts for
these functions may be ignored when evaluating the perfor-
mance of an application.
64-bit profiling may be used freely with dynamically linked
executables, and profiling information is collected for the
shared objects if the objects are compiled for profiling.
Care must be applied to interpret the profile output, since
it is possible for symbols from different shared objects to
have the same name. If duplicate names are seen in the pro-
file output, it is better to use the -s (summary) option,
which prefixes a module id before each symbol that is dupli-
cated. The symbols can then be mapped to appropriate modules
by looking at the modules information in the summary.
If the -a option is used with a dynamically linked execut-
able, the sorting occurs on a per-shared-object basis. Since
there is a high likelihood of symbols from differed shared
objects to have the same value, this results in an output
that is more understandable. A blank line separates the sym-
bols from different shared objects, if the -s option is
32-bit profiling may be used with dynamically linked execut-
ables, but care must be applied. In 32-bit profiling, shared
objects cannot be profiled with prof. Thus, when a pro-
filed, dynamically linked program is executed, only the
"main" portion of the image is sampled. This means that all
time spent outside of the "main" object, that is, time spent
in a shared object, will not be included in the profile sum-
mary; the total time reported for the program may be less
than the total time used by the program.
Because the time spent in a shared object cannot be
accounted for, the use of shared objects should be minimized
whenever a program is profiled with prof. If desired, the
program should be linked to the profiled version of a
library (or to the standard archive version if no profiling
version is available), instead of the shared object to get
profile information on the functions of a library. Versions
of profiled libraries may be supplied with the system in the
/usr/lib/libp directory. Refer to compiler driver documenta-
tion on profiling.
Consider an extreme case. A profiled program dynamically
linked with the shared C library spends 100 units of time in
some libc routine, say, malloc(). Suppose malloc() is
called only from routine B and B consumes only 1 unit of
time. Suppose further that routine A consumes 10 units of
time, more than any other routine in the "main" (profiled)
portion of the image. In this case, prof will conclude that
most of the time is being spent in A and almost no time is
being spent in B. From this it will be almost impossible to
tell that the greatest improvement can be made by looking at
routine B and not routine A. The value of the profiler in
this case is severely degraded; the solution is to use
archives as much as possible for profiling.
Man(1) output converted with