Finding performance bottlenecks in applications that you develop can be a daunting task. But with the right tools and a little guidance, it's easier than you might think. OProfile is a performance analysis tool set for Linux systems. A new collection of topics has been published in the Linux for IBM Systems Information Center to help application developers get started with OProfile on Power Systems™ servers running Linux. Getting started with OProfile on PowerLinux introduces the new operf profiler available with OProfile 0.9.8. The topics also give helpful usage tips for OProfile's "legacy" profiling tool, opcontrol. In most cases, you'll find that operf is a much simpler alternative to opcontrol and other profilers available.
The information center topic collection includes the simplest path for installing and setting up OProfile, taking advantage of IBM® Advance Toolchain for PowerLinux™. It also includes basic scenarios for dealing with problems such as lost samples caused by kernel throttling, and buffer overflow.
The SourceForge OProfile project web site is another good source for getting help and information. Resources there include FAQs, an OProfile user manual, mailing list archives, and the IRC channel. As lead maintainer for the OProfile open source software project, I (Maynard Johnson) am watching the mailing list and IRC channel to make sure that your OProfile questions are being answered. I also review community-submitted patches and handle bug reports. So please be sure to give OProfile a try and keep in touch on the PowerLinux Community message board with any questions that you have.