Compile with -fno-omit-frame-pointer on x86_64?

John Reiser jreiser at
Wed Nov 3 19:56:39 UTC 2010

On 11/03/2010 11:48 AM, Owen Taylor wrote:
> Lack of decent profiling is a major problem for making our operating
> system fast. By far the most effective of profiling is sampling profile
> with callgraph information.

I am the author of tsprof, .
Eight years ago that app provided everything you desire, and with
no compilation flags necessary: not -pg, not -p.  [The implementation
is equivalent to "infecting the memory image of the application with
a profiling virus" and it was at process entry in just a couple
seconds.]  But nobody would pay for it on i686, so the product
was abandoned despite a working prototype for x86_64.

A few years before that, there was TracePoint Technology, a startup
funded by venture capital that offered nifty profiling tools:
Soon they were acquired by Digital Equipment Corp and died with DEC.

Over several years, dueling proposals (perfctr, perfmon, perfmon2)
failed to get into the Linux kernel.  Then the CPU and motherboard
designers made the underlying hardware counter (RDTSC) unreliable
in too many cases (non-constant frequency, not synchronized for SMP,
arbitrarily scribbled by SystemManagementMode, ...).

Today the infrastructure work for kernel ftrace comes close to what
is required for use by apps, but gcc still won't do exactly the
right thing.

In short, those who want profiling have failed repeatedly to present
an _effective_ case.

What are you doing to do differently this time?
[The workaround is to spend a week learning how to run oprofile
and interpret its output.]


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