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What is gprofng?
Gprofng is the GNU Next Generation profiler for analyzing the performance
of Linux applications. Gprofng allows you to:
- Profile C / C++ / Java / Scala applications without needing to recompile
- Profile multi-threaded applications
- Analyze and compare multiple experiments
- Use time-based sampling and / or hardware event counters
Building gprofng
Gprofng is distributed with binutils. To build gprofng, you build binutils.
1. Set paths
2. Verify prerequisites
3. Git clone
4. Configure, make, and make install
Details follow for each of these.
1. Set paths
If you are configuring binutils for the default location, it will use:
In your shell initialization procedure, set your paths using commands
similar to these:
export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH
export MANPATH=/usr/local/share/man:$MANPATH
export INFOPATH=/usr/local/share/info/:$INFOPATH
2. Verify prerequisites
To build a recent version of binutils, it is useful to have a developer
system with the most recent compilers, libraries, and operating system.
Development systems will typically already include most of these:
bison bison-devel bzip2 elfutils-debuginfod-client-devel
expat-devel flex gcc gcc-c++ git-core git-core-doc gmp-devel
help2man libbabeltrace-devel libipt-devel m4 make mpfr-devel
ncurses-devel perl-Data-Dumper tar texinfo xz zlib-devel
CAUTION: The list of prerequisites changes depending on your operating system
and changes as binutils evolves. The list above is a snapshot of the useful
packages in early 2022 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Oracle Linux.
Your system may use other packages; for example, you may be able to use a
different version of Java than shown above. If there are failures, you may
need to search for other packages as described in the "Hints" section below.
3. Git clone
Select a binutils repository and a branch that you would like
to start from. For example, to clone from the master at, you could say:
git clone CloneDir
4. Configure, make, and install
There are many options for configure (see: configure --help). For example,
--prefix sets the destination, as described in the "Hints" section below.
If the default destination /usr/local is acceptable for your needs, then
after the clone operation finishes, you can simply say:
mkdir build
cd build
sudo make install
Getting started
To start using gprofng, see the tutorial available by saying:
info gprofng
HTML and PDF documentation
You may want to generate an HTML or PDF version of the manual in addition
to the above info pages. These versions may be easier to read and easier
to search. To generate HTML:
cd build # the same build directory you created above
cd gprofng/doc
make html
sudo make install-html
If you would like PDF documentation, you will need the texi2dvi utility.
If it is not already included in the texinfo package mentioned above, try
installing package texinfo-tex. To generate PDF:
cd build # the same build directory you created above
cd gprofng/doc
make pdf
sudo make install-pdf
Hints and tips for building binutils
- Use the script(1) command to write a log of your build.
- If you run multiple commands at once (for example: make --jobs=10) then you
should also use make option:
Without --output-sync, the log would be difficult to interpret.
- Search the log for errors and warnings, for example:
configure: WARNING: <package> is missing or unusable; some features
may be unavailable.
The above message suggests that <package> may be needed on your system.
- Sometimes the above message is not sufficiently specific to guide you to
the right package. In the directory where the failure happens, config.log
may identify a specific missing file, and your package manager may allow
you to search for it. For example, if build/gprofng/config.log shows that
javac is missing, and if your package manager is dnf, you could try:
dnf --repo='*' whatprovides '*/javac'
- You can set a custom destination directory using configure --prefix.
This is useful if you prefer not to change /usr/local, or if you are not
allowed to do so. If you set a custom prefix, be sure to change all three
paths mentioned in the PATH section above.