Provided by: tiptop_2.3.1-4_amd64 bug


       tiptop - display hardware performance counters for Linux tasks


       tiptop [OPTION]

       tiptop [OPTION] -- command  (EXPERIMENTAL)

       ptiptop PATTERN [OPTIONS]


       The  tiptop  program provides a dynamic real-time view of the tasks running in the system.
       tiptop is very similar to top (1), but  the  information  displayed  comes  from  hardware

       tiptop  has  two  running  modes:  live-mode  and batch-mode. In both modes, the system is
       periodically queried for the values of hardware counters, and various ratios  are  printed
       for  each task. In live-mode, the display is regularly updated with new values at constant
       time intervals. In batch-mode, the same information is emitted to  stdout.  Batch-mode  is
       appropriate  for saving to a file or for further processing. No interaction is possible in

       Unless tiptop is run by root, or the executable is setuid-root, a user  can  only  monitor
       the tasks it owns.

       The  results  produced  by  tiptop  are  organized  in  screens. A screen consists in rows
       representing tasks, and  columns  reporting  various  values  and  ratios  collected  from
       hardware  counters.  Many  screens can be defined. Only one screen is displayed at a time.
       The default screen (number 0) reports target independent values as  defined  in  the  file
       /usr/include/linux/event_counter.h. Other screens may rely on target-dependent counters.

       When  an  expression  would  result  in  a division by zero, a '-' sign is printed. When a
       counter involved in an expression could not be read, a '?' sign is printed.

       If -- appears in the command line, tiptop treats the rest of the line as a command. A  new
       process  is  forked, and hardware counters are attached just before execvp is called. This
       makes it possible to trace an application from the first instruction. Only  the  child  is
       traced, and idle-mode is enabled (in live mode, this can be overridden by hitting keys 'p'
       and 'i').  This is commonly used in combination with sticky mode to track a  command  from
       start to finish. This is experimental!

       ptiptop is simply a shortcut for tiptop -p.

       tiptop requires Linux 2.6.31+.


       Command line options with a parameter override values specified in the configuration file.
       Toggles set the value or invert the value read in the configuration file (if any).

       -b  Start tiptop in batch-mode. Output is sent to stdout, and no  interactive  command  is
           accepted. tiptop will run forever, or until the number of iterations specified by -n.

       -c  display the command line of the task instead of its name. (toggle)

       --cpu-min VALUE
           %CPU activity threshold. Below this value, a task is considered
            idle and is not reported (unless idle-mode is on, see flag -i).

       -d VALUE
           Specify  the  delay between refreshes. VALUE can be fractional. It must be larger than

       -E FILENAME
           Specify file where errors are logged. By default errors are logged to stderr in batch-
           mode, and a temporary file in live-mode.

           Print the Epoch at each refresh. In batch-mode, it is printed at the beginning of each
           row. In live-mode, it is at the bottom of the display. (toggle)

       -h --help
           Print a brief help message and exit.

       -H  Show threads. (toggle)

       -i  Show idle tasks. (toggle)

       -K --kernel
           Include kernel activity in the reported values. This is only possible is the  user  is
           root,  the  tiptop  executable  is  setuid  root, or the paranoia level is low enough.
           See file /proc/sys/kernel/perf_event_paranoid
           (perf_counter_paranoid on Linux 2.6.31).

           List available screens and exit.

       -n VALUE
           Automatically exit after VALUE iterations.

           By default, when the maximum number of  open  files  is  reached,  and  new  processes
           appear,  tiptop searches for idle processes and closes the files in order to make room
           for the new ones. This flag disables this behavior: in  case  of  file  shortage,  new
           processes will not get more chances than older ones.

       -o FILENAME
           Specify the filename for the output of batch mode.

           Only screens defined in configuration file displayed (no default).

       -p --pid VALUE
           Filters  processes according to VALUE. VALUE can be either the numeric value PID, or a
           string. In case of a string, all tasks whose names or command lines (depending on  the
           display, see -c) contain VALUE are reported.

       -S VALUE
           Start  tiptop with screen number VALUE if VALUE is an integer. Otherwise looks for the
           first screen whose name contains VALUE.

           Start in sticky mode: tasks stay in the list after they die. In live-mode, they appear
           in  a  different  color  (when  supported).  In batch-mode, the word DEAD is appended.

           Print a timestamp at the beginning of  each  row.  The  timestamp  is  the  number  of
           refreshes  so far. In batch-mode, it is printed at the beginning of each row. In live-
           mode, it is at the bottom of the display. (toggle)

       -u USER
           Only show tasks owned by USER. USER can be either a login name, or the  numeric  value

       -U  Show the owner of each task. (toggle)

       -v  Display build information and exit.

           Display version information and disclaimer and exit.

       -w VALUE
           Watch  the  task  specified  by VALUE. VALUE can be either the numeric value PID, or a
           string. In case of a string, all tasks whose names or command lines (depending on  the
           display,  see -c) contain VALUE are reported. In live-mode, watched tasks are shown in
           a different color (when supported). In  batch-mode,  an  ASCII  arrow  points  to  the
           watched tasks.

       -W PATH
           Directory where the configuration file is located.


       In live-mode, tiptop accepts single-key commands.

       LEFT, RIGHT
           Rotate through available screens.

       <, >
           Change the reference column for sorting to the left or to the right.

       c   Toggle between showing task names and command lines.

       d   Change  the  refresh interval. The new value is queried. Fractional values larger than
           0.01 are accepted.

       e   Display the errors encoutered so far. Scroll with UP, DOWN, PAGE_UP,  PAGE_DOWN,  HOME
           and END.

       h   Display a brief description of the screen and each column.

       H   Toggle between showing individual threads and accumulating values per process.

       i   Toggle between showing only active tasks and showing also idle tasks.

       K   Toggle  between  showing  kernel  activity and only user activity. Kernel mode is only
           available to root. Switching to and from kernel mode resets all counters.

       k   Kill a process. The user is asked for the PID, and the signal to send.

       p   Filter tasks by name or PID. The user is asked for a PID or string. In case  a  string
           is  entered,  only  the  tasks  whose  name  or  command  line  contain the string are
           displayed. Changing the filter resets all counters.

       q   Quit.

       R   Change sorting order: ascending or descending.

       S   Toggle sticky mode.

       s   Same as d.

       u   Filter tasks by user. The user name or PID is queried. Note that, unless tiptop is run
           by root or setuid root, tasks owned by somebody else cannot be monitored. Changing the
           filter resets all counters.

       U   Toggle displaying each task's owner.

       w   Used to track a particular task. The user is asked for a PID  or  string.  In  case  a
           string  is  entered,  all  tasks  whose  name  or  command line contain the string are

       W   Writes a configuration file for the current state in the current directory.


       During startup, tiptop attempts to read a configuration  file.  The  file  must  be  named
       .tiptoprc.  This  file  is  first searched in the current directory, then in the directory
       defined by the environment variable TIPTOP if it exists, finally in the user's home.

       The file is structured in XML. The syntax is as follows.

       Root of tree
              The root of the xml tree is tiptop.  <tiptop> ... </tiptop>

              Options can be specified on an <options> block.

                <option name="option1" value="value_option1"/>
                <option name="option2" value="value_option2"/>
                     ...  </options>

              Recognized options listed below, with their corresponding command line option.

              cpu_threshold (--cpu-min), delay (-d), idle (-i), max_iter (-n), show_cmdline (-c),
              show_epoch  (--epoch), show_kernel (-K), show_timestamp (--timestamp), show_threads
              (-H), show_user (-U), watch_name (-w), sticky (--sticky), watch_uid (-w)

              Screens are defined inside a <screen> block. A  screen  is  made  of  counters  and
              columns. A screen has a name and an optional description.

              <screen name="my_screen" desc="what this screen is about">
                     ....  </screen>

              Counters  must  provide  an alias (used for further reference) and a configuration.
              The configuration is either a predefined value, or the actual value  that  must  be
              provided  to the perf_even_open system call (typically found in vendor architecture

              Predefined values are: CPU_CYCLES,  INSTRUCTIONS,  CACHE_REFERENCES,  CACHE_MISSES,

              <counter alias="instr" config="INSTRUCTIONS" />

              For  non-predefined  configs,  a  type  must  be  provided. Currently, only RAW and
              HW_CACHE are supported.

              Optionally, a counter may be restricted to a specific architecture (such as "x86"),
              and  a model. The definition of the model is architecture-dependent. For x86, it is
              defined as DisplayFamily_DisplayModel as computed  by  the  instruction  CPUID.   A
              counter for issued micro-ops on Sandy Bridge may look like the following:

              <counter alias="uops_issued" config="0x010e"
                       type="RAW" arch="x86" model="06_2A" />

              For the x86 architecture, a single counter can be valid for several models.

              <counter alias="uOP" config="0x1c2" type="RAW"
                       arch="x86" model="06_1A;06_1E;06_1F;06_2E" />

              When the type is HW_CACHE, the config is specified by shifting and ORing predefined
              values. The 8 least significant bits represent the  cache  level  (possible  values
              L1D,  L1I,  LL,  DTLB,  ITLB,  BPU).  The  next 8 bits represent the type of access
              (OP_READ,  OP_WRITE,  OP_PREFETCH).  The  last  8  bits  represent   are   one   of

              Note that "shift left" is expressed as shl (the usual << does not fit well in xml).

              <counter alias="L1Rmiss" type="HW_CACHE"
                       config="L1D | (OP_READ shl 8) | (RESULT_MISS shl 16)" />

              See also /usr/include/linux/perf_events.h for more on config and type.

              A  column defines its header, the printf-like format for values, and an expression.
              Expressions evaluate as double precision. A description is optional.

              <counter alias="instr" config="INSTRUCTIONS" />
              <counter alias="cycle" config="CPU_CYCLES" />
              <column header=" IPC" format="%4.2f"
                      desc="Total instructions per cycle"
              <column header=" ipc" format="%4.2f"
                      desc="Total instructions per cycle"
                      expr="instr/cycle" />

              The syntax of expressions supports basic  arithmetic  (+  -  *  /  parentheses  and
              constants). The special notation "delta(counter)" evaluates as the variation of the
              counter between refreshes.  Expressions can also refer to predefined variables such
              as  CPU_TOT  (CPU  usage),  CPU_SYS  (system CPU usage), CPU_USER (user CPU usage),
              PROC_ID (processor where the process was last seen).

              <column header=" ipc" format="%4.2f"
                    desc="Average IPC over last period"
                    expr="delta(instr) / delta(cycle)" />

       Sample config file


                  <option name="delay" value="2.0" />
                  <option name="stick" value="1" />

                <screen name="example" desc="Sample config file">
                  <counter alias="cycle" config="CPU_CYCLES"  />
                  <counter alias="instr" config="INSTRUCTIONS" />
                  <counter alias="miss" config="CACHE_MISSES" />
                  <counter alias="br_miss" config="BRANCH_MISSES" />

                  <!-- Sandy Bridge only -->
                  <counter alias="uops_issued" config="0x010e"
                           type="RAW" arch="x86" model="06_2A" />

                  <column header=" %CPU" format="%5.1f"
                          desc="CPU usage" expr="CPU_TOT" />
                  <column header="   P" format="  %2.0f"
                          desc="Processor where last seen" expr="PROC_ID" />
                  <column header="  Mcycle" format="%8.2f"
                          desc="Cycles (millions)"
                          expr="delta(cycle) / 1e6" />
                  <column header="  Minstr" format="%8.2f"
                          desc="Instructions (millions)"
                          expr="delta(instr) / 1e6" />
                  <column header=" IPC" format="%4.2f"
                          desc="Executed instructions per cycle"
                          expr="delta(instr) / delta(cycle)" />
                  <column header=" %MISS" format="%6.2f"
                          desc="Cache miss per instructions (in %)"
                          expr="100 * delta(miss) / delta(instr)" />
                  <column header=" %BMIS" format="%6.2f"
                          desc="Branch misprediction per instruction (in %)"
                          expr="100 * delta(br_miss) / delta(instr)" />
                  <column header="uops/inst" format="     %4.1f"
                          desc="Number of issued uops per instruction"
                          expr="delta(uops_issued) / delta(instr)" />


       tiptop does not seem to work within a virtualized environment.

       Attaching counters to processes may fail for various reasons, such as asking for more than
       available in hardware (tiptop does not implement sampling), or reaching the maximum number
       of open files. In these cases, you may consider filtering the  processes  (see  flags  -u,

       To  mitigate the limitation of the maximum number of open files, tiptop tries to close the
       events attached to idle processes. If this is a problem, see the flag --no-collect.


       Send bug reports to:
          Erven Rohou <>


       Written by Erven Rohou.


       top(1), ps(1)
       /usr/include/linux/perf_counter.h (Linux 2.6.31)
       /usr/include/linux/event_counter.h (Linux 2.6.32+)