hwlatdetect - program to control the kernel hardware latency detection
hwlatdetect [ --duration=<time> ] [--threshold=<usecs> ]
[--window=<time interval> ] [--width=<time interval> ] [--report=<path>
] [--cleanup ] [--debug ] [--quiet ]
hwlatdetect is a program that controls the kernel hardware latency
detector module (hwlat_detector.ko). The module is a special purpose
kernel module that is used to detect large system latencies induced by
the behavior of certain underlying hardware or firmware, independent of
Linux itself. The code was developed originally to detect SMIs (System
Management Interrupts) on x86 systems, however there is nothing x86
specific about this patchset. It was originally written for use by the
"RT" patch since the Real Time kernel is highly latency sensitive.
SMIs are usually not serviced by the Linux kernel, which typically does
not even know that they are occuring. SMIs are instead are set up by
BIOS code and are serviced by BIOS code, usually for "critical" events
such as management of thermal sensors and fans. Sometimes though, SMIs
are used for other tasks and those tasks can spend an inordinate amount
of time in the handler (sometimes measured in milliseconds). Obviously
this is a problem if you are trying to keep event service latencies
down in the microsecond range.
The hardware latency detector module works by hogging all of the cpus
for configurable amounts of time (by calling stop_machine()), polling
the CPU Time Stamp Counter for some period, then looking for gaps in
the TSC data. Any gap indicates a time when the polling was interrupted
and since the machine is stopped and interrupts turned off the only
thing that could do that would be an SMI.
The hwlatdetector script manages the mounting/unmounting of the debugfs
as well as the loading/unloading of the hwlat_detector module. If the
debugfs is already mounted then hwlatdetector will not unmount it after
a run. Likewise, if the hwlat_detector module is already loaded, it
will not be unloaded after a run.
Run the detector logic in for the specified duration. The
duration is a base 10 integer number that defaults to a value in
seconds. An optional suffix may be specified to indicate
minutes, hours or days.
Specify the TSC gap used to detect an SMI. Any gap value greater
than <theshold> is considered to be the result of an SMI
specify the size of the sample window. Converted to microseconds
when passed to the kernel module.
The amount of time within the sample window where the detector
is actually sampling. Must be less than the --window value.
Specify the output filename of the detector report. Default
behavior is to print to standard output
Force unload of hwlat_detector.ko and unmounting of debugfs
Turn on debug prints
Turn off all information prints
hwlatdetect was written by Clark Williams <email@example.com>
hwlat_detector.ko was written by Jon Masters <firstname.lastname@example.org>
May 12, 2009