Tuesday, 27 June 2017

New features in forkstat V0.02.00

The forkstat mascot
Forkstat is a tiny utility I wrote a while ago to monitor process activity via the process events connector. Recently I was sent a patch from Philipp Gesang to add a new -l option to switch to line buffered output to reduce the delay on output when redirecting stdout, which is a useful addition to the tool.   During some spare time I looked at the original code and noticed that I had overlooked some of lesser used process event types:
  • STAT_PTRC - ptrace attach/detach events
  • STAT_UID - UID (and GID) change events
  • STAT_SID - SID change events
..so I've now added support for these events too.
I've also added some extra per-process information on each event. The new -x "extra info" option will now also display the UID of the process and where possible the TTY it is associated with.  This allows one to easily detect who is responsible for generating the process events.

The following example shows fortstat being used to detect when a process is being traced using ptrace:

 sudo ./forkstat -x -e ptrce  
 Time     Event  PID    UID TTY    Info   Duration Process  
 11:42:31 ptrce 17376     0 pts/15 attach          strace -p 17350  
 11:42:31 ptrce 17350  1000 pts/13 attach          top  
 11:42:37 ptrce 17350  1000 pts/13 detach    

Process 17376 runs strace on process 17350 (top). We can see the ptrace attach event on the process and also then a few seconds later the detach event.  We can see that the strace was being run from pts/15 by root.   Using forkstat we can now snoop on users who are snooping on other user's processes.

I use forkstat mainly to capture busy process fork/exec/exit activity that tools such as ps and top cannot see because of the very sort duration of some processes or threads. Sometimes processes are created rapidly that one needs to run forkstat with a high priority to capture all the events, and so the new -r option will run forkstat with a high real time scheduling priority to try and capture all the events.

These new features landed in forkstat V0.02.00 for Ubuntu 17.10 Aardvark.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Cyclic latency measurements in stress-ng V0.08.06

The stress-ng logo
The latest release of stress-ng contains a mechanism to measure latencies via a cyclic latency test.  Essentially this is just a loop that cycles around performing high precisions sleeps and measures the (extra overhead) latency taken to perform the sleep compared to expected time.  This loop runs with either one of the Round-Robin (rr) or First-In-First-Out real time scheduling polices.

The cyclic test can be configured to specify the sleep time (in nanoseconds), the scheduling type (rr or fifo),  the scheduling priority (1 to 100) and also the sleep method (explained later).

The first 10,000 latency measurements are used to compute various latency statistics:
  • mean latency (aka the 'average')
  • modal latency (the most 'popular' latency)
  • minimum latency
  • maximum latency
  • standard deviation
  • latency percentiles (25%, 50%, 75%, 90%, 95.40%, 99.0%, 99.5%, 99.9% and 99.99%
  • latency distribution (enabled with the --cyclic-dist option)
The latency percentiles indicate the latency at which a percentage of the samples fall into.  For example, the 99% percentile for the 10,000 samples is the latency at which 9,900 samples are equal to or below.

The latency distribution is shown when the --cyclic-dist option is used; one has to specify the distribution interval in nanoseconds and up to the first 100 values in the distribution are output.

For an idle machine, one can invoke just the cyclic measurements with stress-ng as follows:

 sudo stress-ng --cyclic 1 --cyclic-policy fifo \
--cyclic-prio 100 --cyclic-method --clock_ns \
--cyclic-sleep 20000 --cyclic-dist 1000 -t 5  
 stress-ng: info: [27594] dispatching hogs: 1 cyclic  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic: sched SCHED_FIFO: 20000 ns delay, 10000 samples  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  mean: 5242.86 ns, mode: 4880 ns  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  min: 3050 ns, max: 44818 ns, std.dev. 1142.92  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic: latency percentiles:  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  25.00%:    4881 us  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  50.00%:    5191 us  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  75.00%:    5261 us  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  90.00%:    5368 us  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  95.40%:    6857 us  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  99.00%:    8942 us  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  99.50%:    9821 us  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  99.90%:   22210 us  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:  99.99%:   36074 us  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic: latency distribution (1000 us intervals):  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic: latency (us) frequency  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:           0         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:        1000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:        2000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:        3000        82  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:        4000      3342  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:        5000      5974  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:        6000       197  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:        7000       209  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:        8000       100  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:        9000        50  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       10000        10  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       11000         9  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       12000         2  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       13000         2  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       14000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       15000         9  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       16000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       17000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       18000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       19000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       20000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       21000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       22000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       23000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       24000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       25000         2  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       26000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       27000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       28000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       29000         2  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       30000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       31000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       32000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       33000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       34000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       35000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       36000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       37000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       38000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       39000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       40000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       41000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       42000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       43000         0  
 stress-ng: info: [27595] stress-ng-cyclic:       44000         1  
 stress-ng: info: [27594] successful run completed in 5.00s  
   

Note that stress-ng needs to be invoked using sudo to enable the Real Time FIFO scheduling for the cyclic measurements.

The above example uses the following options:

  • --cyclic 1
    • starts one instance of the cyclic measurements (1 is always recommended)
  • --cyclic-policy fifo 
    • use the real time First-In-First-Out scheduling for the cyclic measurements
  • --cyclic-prio 100 
    • use the maximum scheduling priority  
  • --cyclic-method clock_ns
    • use the clock_nanoseconds(2) system call to perform the high precision duration sleep
  • --cyclic-sleep 20000 
    • sleep for 20000 nanoseconds per cyclic iteration
  • --cyclic-dist 1000 
    • enable latency distribution statistics with an interval of 1000 nanoseconds between each data point.
  • -t 5
    • run for just 5 seconds
From the run above, we can see that 99.5% of latencies were less than 9821 nanoseconds and most clustered around the 4880 nanosecond model point. The distribution data shows that there is some clustering around the 5000 nanosecond point and the samples tail off with a bit of a long tail.

Now for the interesting part. Since stress-ng is packed with many different stressors we can run these while performing the cyclic measurements, for example, we can tell stress-ng to run *all* the virtual memory related stress tests and see how this affects the latency distribution using the following:

 sudo stress-ng --cyclic 1 --cyclic-policy fifo \  
 --cyclic-prio 100 --cyclic-method clock_ns \  
 --cyclic-sleep 20000 --cyclic-dist 1000 \  
 --class vm --all 1 -t 60s  
   

..the above invokes all the vm class of stressors to run all at the same time (with just one instance of each stressor) for 60 seconds.

The --cyclic-method specifies the delay used on each of the 10,000 cyclic iterations used.  The default (and recommended method) is clock_ns, using the high precision delay.  The available cyclic delay methods are:
  • clock_ns (use the clock_nanosecond() sleep)
  • posix_ns (use the POSIX nanosecond() sleep)
  • itimer (use a high precision clock timer and pause to wait for a signal to measure latency)
  • poll (busy spin-wait on clock_gettime() to eat cycles for a delay.
All the delay mechanisms use the CLOCK_REALTIME system clock for timing.

I hope this is plenty of cyclic measurement functionality to get some useful latency benchmarks against various kernel components when using some or a mix of the stress-ng stressors.  Let me know if I am missing some other cyclic measurement options and I can see if I can add them in.

Keep stressing and measuring those systems!

Friday, 26 May 2017

What is new in FWTS 17.05.00?

Version 17.05.00 of the Firmware Test Suite was released this week as part of  the regular end-of-month release cadence. So what is new in this release?
  • Alex Hung has been busy bringing the SMBIOS tests in-sync with the SMBIOS 3.1.1 standard
  • IBM provided some OPAL (OpenPower Abstraction Layer) Firmware tests:
    • Reserved memory DT validation tests
    • Power management DT Validation tests
  • The first fwts snap was created
  •  Over 40 bugs were fixed
As ever, we are grateful for all the community contributions to FWTS.  The full release details are available from the fwts-devel mailing list.

I expect that the next upcoming ACPICA release will be integrated into the 17.06.00 FWTS release next month.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Firmware Test Suite Text Based Front-End

The Firmware Test Suite (FWTS) has an easy to use text based front-end that is primarily used by the FWTS Live-CD image but it can also be used in the Ubuntu terminal.

To install and run the front-end use:

 sudo apt-get install fwts-frontend  
 sudo fwts-frontend-text  

..and one should see a menu of options:


In this demonstration, the "All Batch Tests" option has been selected:


Tests will be run one by one and a progress bar shows the progress of each test. Some tests run very quickly, others can take several minutes depending on the hardware configuration (such as number of processors).

Once the tests are all complete, the following dialogue box is displayed:


The test has saved several files into the directory /fwts/15052017/1748/ and selecting Yes one can view the results log in a scroll-box:


Exiting this, the FWTS frontend dialog is displayed:


Press enter to exit (note that the Poweroff option is just for the fwts Live-CD image version of fwts-frontend).

The tool dumps various logs, for example, the above run generated:

 ls -alt /fwts/15052017/1748/  
 total 1388  
 drwxr-xr-x 5 root root  4096 May 15 18:09 ..  
 drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 May 15 17:49 .  
 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 358666 May 15 17:49 acpidump.log  
 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root  3808 May 15 17:49 cpuinfo.log  
 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 22238 May 15 17:49 lspci.log  
 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 19136 May 15 17:49 dmidecode.log  
 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 79323 May 15 17:49 dmesg.log  
 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root  311 May 15 17:49 README.txt  
 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 631370 May 15 17:49 results.html  
 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 281371 May 15 17:49 results.log  

acpidump.log is a dump of the ACPI tables in format compatible with the ACPICA acpidump tool.  The results.log file is a copy of the results generated by FWTS and results.html is a HTML formatted version of the log.