Systems Performance 2nd Ed.

BPF Performance Tools book

Recent posts:
Blog index

Linux Performance

static, benchmarking, tuning:

sar, perf-tools, bcc/BPF:

bpftrace, BPF book:

Images license: creative commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0.

This page links to various Linux performance material I've created, including the tools maps on the right. These use a large font size to suit slide decks. You can also print them out for your office wall. They show: Linux observability tools, Linux static performance analysis tools, Linux benchmarking tools, Linux tuning tools, and Linux sar. Check the year on the image (bottom right) to see how recent it is.

There is also a hi-res diagram combining observability, static performance tuning, and perf-tools/bcc: png, svg (see discussion), but it is not as complete as the other diagrams. For even more diagrams, see my slide decks below.

On this page: Tools, Documentation, Talks, Resources.




In rough order of recommended viewing or difficulty, intro to more advanced:

1. Linux Systems Performance (USENIX LISA 2019)

This is my summary of Linux systems performance in 40 minutes, covering six facets: observability, methodologies, benchmarking, profiling, tracing, and tuning. It's intended for everyone as a tour of fundamentals, and some companies have indicated they will use it for new hire training.

A video of the talk is on and youtube, here are the slides or as a PDF.

For a lot more information on observability tools, profiling, and tracing, see the talks that follow.

2. Linux Performance 2018 (PerconaLive 2018)

This was a 20 minute keynote summary of recent changes and features in Linux performance in 2018.

A video of the talk is on youtube, and the slides are on slideshare or as a PDF.

3. Linux Performance Tools (Velocity 2015)

At Velocity 2015, I gave a 90 minute tutorial on Linux performance tools, summarizing performance observability, benchmarking, tuning, static performance tuning, and tracing tools. I also covered performance methodology, and included some live demos. This should be useful for everyone working on Linux systems. If you just saw my PerconaLive2016 talk, then some content should be familiar, but with many extras: I focus a lot more on the tools in this talk.

A video of the talk is on youtube (playlist; part 1, part 2) and the slides are on slideshare or as a PDF.

This was similar to my SCaLE11x and LinuxCon talks, however, with 90 minutes I was able to cover more tools and methodologies, making it the most complete tour of the topic I've done. I also posted about it on the Netflix Tech Blog.

4. How Netflix Tunes EC2 Instances for Performance (AWS re:Invent, 2017)

Instead of performance observability, this talk is about tuning. I begin by providing Netflix background, covering instance types and features in the AWS EC2 cloud, and then talk about Linux kernel tunables and observability.

A video of the talk is on youtube and the slides are on slideshare:

5. Container Performance Analysis (DockerCon, 2017)

At DockerCon 2017 in Austin, I gave a talk on Linux container performance analysis, showing how to find bottlenecks in the host vs the container, how to profiler container apps, and dig deeper into the kernel.

A video of the talk is on youtube and the slides are on slideshare.

6. Broken Linux Performance Tools (SCaLE14x, 2016)

At the Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE 14x), I gave a talk on Broken Linux Performance Tools. This was a follow-on to my earlier Linux Performance Tools talk originally at SCaLE11x (and more recently at Velocity as a tutorial). This broken tools talk was a tour of common problems with Linux system tools, metrics, statistics, visualizations, measurement overhead, and benchmarks. It also includes advice on how to cope (the green "What You Can Do" slides).

A video of the talk is on youtube and the slides are on slideshare or as a PDF.

7. Using Linux perf at Netflix (Kernel Recipes, 2017)

At Kernel Recipes 2017 I gave an updated talk on Linux perf at Netflix, focusing on getting CPU profiling and flame graphs to work. This talk includes a crash course on perf_events, plus gotchas such as fixing stack traces and symbols when profiling Java, Node.js, VMs, and containers.

A video of the talk is on youtube and the slides are on slideshare:

There's also an older version of this talk from 2015, which I've posted about. To learn more about flame graphs, see my flame graphs presentation.

8. Give me 15 minutes and I'll change your view of Linux tracing (LISA, 2016)

I gave this demo at USENIX/LISA 2016, showing ftrace, perf, and bcc/BPF. A video is on youtube (sorry, the sound effects are a bit too loud):.

This was the first part of a longer talk on Linux 4.x Tracing Tools: Using BPF Superpowers. See the full talk video and talk slides.

9. Performance analysis superpowers with Linux eBPF (O'Reilly Velocity, 2017)

This talk covers using enhanced BPF (aka eBPF) features added to the Linux 4.x series for performance analysis, observability, and debugging. The front-end used in this talk is bcc (BPF compiler collection), an open source project that provides BPF interfaces and a collection of tools.

A video of the talk is on youtube, and the slides are on slideshare or as a PDF.

10. Linux Performance Analysis: New Tools and Old Secrets (ftrace) (LISA 2014)

At USENIX LISA 2014, I gave a talk on the new ftrace and perf_events tools I've been developing: the perf-tools collection on github, which mostly uses ftrace: a tracer that has been built into the Linux kernel for many years, but few have discovered (practically a secret).

A video of the talk is on youtube, and the slides are on slideshare or as a PDF. In a post about this talk, I included some more screenshots of these tools in action.

11. Performance Checklists for SREs (SREcon, 2016)

At SREcon 2016 Santa Clara, I gave the closing talk on performance checklists for SREs (Site Reliability Engineers). The later half of this talk included Linux checklists for incident performance response. These may be useful whether you're analyzing Linux performance in a hurry or not.

A video of the talk is on youtube and usenix, and the slides are on slideshare and as a PDF. I included the checklists in a blog post.


Other resources (not by me) I'd recommend for the topic of Linux performance:

Last updated: 17-Mar-2024
Copyright 2024 Brendan Gregg, all rights reserved