How do I install the perf monitoring tool?

  • 2
    What exactly do you want to monitor? – ddeimeke Jun 23 '11 at 7:31
  • 5
    @ddeimeke that seems like an irrelevant question. – dbliss Oct 16 '15 at 17:20
  • @ddeimeke it doesn't matter – SmallChess Jul 28 at 0:47
up vote 60 down vote accepted

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

  • 8
    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 '16 at 15:00

On Ubuntu 14.04 I had to install three packages:

apt-get install linux-tools-common linux-tools-generic linux-tools-`uname -r`
  • 4
    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
  • 3
    @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 '16 at 3:10

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-3.2.0.43

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.

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

git clone https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git
cd linux/tools/perf
make
cp perf /usr/bin

perf --version to check the current version

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:
  linux-tools-virtual 3.13.0.36.43
  linux-tools-lowlatency 3.13.0.36.43
  linux-tools-generic-lts-trusty 3.13.0.36.43
  linux-tools-generic-lts-saucy 3.13.0.36.43
  linux-tools-generic 3.13.0.36.43
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.

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 :

make

and then run make install command:

make install

and then reboot. You just installed perf manually.

  • Reboot is not necessary. Also, if you are to compile from the source code; linux-tools-3.17.2 should not be necessary – Heartinpiece Oct 19 '16 at 10:03

Running the following two commands will do it!

sudo apt-get install linux-tools-common 
sudo apt-get install linux-tools
  • 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
  • This doesn't look working. – SmallChess Jul 28 at 0:52

Here's how it worked for me On Ubuntu 18.04:

After Command 'perf' not found, it suggested to install with sudo apt install linux-tools-common. Doing so and trying to run perf afterward still resulted in:

WARNING: perf not found for kernel 4.15.0-39

  You may need to install the following packages for this specific kernel:
    linux-tools-4.15.0-39-generic
    linux-cloud-tools-4.15.0-39-generic

  You may also want to install one of the following packages to keep up to date:
    linux-tools-generic
    linux-cloud-tools-generic

I decided for sudo apt-get install linux-tools-generic and this was enough.

In case you run into permission-error when trying to use perf as non-root, look here:

Run perf without root-rights

sudo apt-get install linux-tools-virtual
  • this answer is useless without any hint of the approach targeted – cmks Mar 15 '16 at 16:05

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