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How do I install the perf monitoring tool?

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What exactly do you want to monitor? – ddeimeke Jun 23 '11 at 7:31
@ddeimeke that seems like an irrelevant question. – dbliss Oct 16 '15 at 17:20
up vote 33 down vote accepted

The perf utility can be found in the linux-tools package.

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You also probably want to install linux-tools-generic since it includes kernel modules that perf interacts with. – Allen Sep 6 '14 at 21:59
Yep @Allen linux-tools-generic was what I needed! – jerome Mar 24 at 15:00

Make sure you are installing this tool for the right Kernel release. If you just type:

sudo apt-get install linux-tools

It will install it for the latest Linux release in your machine and in case you are booting a previous version (say for stability reason), it will err. In my case it installed for .45 instead of .43 and I had to use the following command to install it:

sudo apt-get install linux-tools-

You can find your Kernel release by typing : uname -r

To make sure it's working right you can try this: perf record /bin/ls

Just in case you are going to install Zoom tool, you need to have Perf installed for being able to use all its utilities.

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On Ubuntu 14.04 I had to install three packages:

apt-get install linux-tools-common linux-tools-generic linux-tools-`uname -r`
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When I tried it, just using sudo apt-get install linux-tools-common linux-tools-generic (skipping the part, which depends on the kernel version) was sufficient. – Martin R. Jun 29 '15 at 22:17
@Martin-R linux-tools-generic always points at the tools for the most up to date kernel version. When running an older kernel (e.g. a server with a couple months uptime) if you want perf without rebooting to the newer kernel you have to explicitly install the tools paired with that kernel (hence the uname -r shell expansion). – notpeter Jun 30 '15 at 6:09
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get -y install linux-tools-common linux-tools-generic linux-tools-uname -r – dylanninin Jun 19 at 3:10

In 14.04, the linux-tools package does not exist unqualified:

$ sudo apt-get install linux-tools
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package linux-tools is a virtual package provided by:
You should explicitly select one to install.

E: Package 'linux-tools' has no installation candidate

Instead, you can install one of the packages listed, depending upon the kernel you have installed. Most users will want linux-tools-generic.

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I installed Linux 3.17.2 on my machine and tried

sudo apt-get install linux-tools-3.17.2

it showed that linux-tools is not present. In this case, download the required linux kernel version, go to linux->tools->perf :

cd linux/tools/perf

and then run make command :


and then run make install command:

make install

and then reboot. You just installed perf manually.

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Running the following two commands will do it!

sudo apt-get install linux-tools-common 
sudo apt-get install linux-tools
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Doesn't work. I'm using 12.04. I get the error perf not found for kernel 3.2.0-60. You may need to install linux-tools-3.2.0-60-generic – Rishi Dua Mar 10 '14 at 18:54

To get the latest version of perf irrespective of the kernel version (perf is independent of the kernel version):

git clone
cd linux/tools/perf
cp perf /usr/bin

perf --version to check the current version

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sudo apt-get install linux-tools-virtual
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Does not come close to the accepted answer. – Rinzwind Mar 4 at 13:44
this answer is useless without any hint of the approach targeted – cmks Mar 15 at 16:05

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