Kernel Tuning and Analysis Utilities

KTAU: Kernel Tuning and Analysis Utilities is a toolkit for profiling and tracing the Linux Kernel. The toolkit's main strength is in analysing program behavior within the context of the kernel. It produces Context-of-Execution based (or per-process) profile/trace. Coupled with TAU, KTAU can produce a complete profile/trace of program behavior in user and kernel mode. As the name suggests, it also allows performance analysis, tuning and (to a lesser extent) debugging of the Kernel as a whole.

KTAU v3.0 (June 2012) uses a tracepoints based kernel module for instrumentation of the Linux Kernel with KTAU timing/counter code. More parts of the kernel can be easily profiled/traced with additions of few lines of code. Several profiling primitives are offered, such as inclusive/exclusive start-stop based timer/counter, event-counters and function call counts. KTAU takes adavantage of the rich visualization features of TAU, mainly by making all profile/trace data available in TAU format, which in turn can be converted into other visualization tools' readable format such as Paraprof, Vampir, and Jumpshot.

KTAU is currently available on x86 and ppc platforms for Linux kernel versions 2.4 and 2.6. It is also available for the IBM BlueGene/L (BG/L) system's IO-Node Linux kernel as part of the ZeptoOS project.