Netflix at Velocity 2015: Linux Performance Tools

There are many performance tools nowadays for Linux, but how do they all fit together, and when do we use them? At Velocity 2015, I gave a 90 minute tutorial on Linux performance tools. I’ve spoken on this topic before, but given a 90 minute time slot I was able to include more methodologies, tools, and live demonstrations, making it the most complete tour of the topic I’ve done. The video and slides are below.

In this tutorial I summarize traditional and advanced performance tools, including: top, ps, vmstat, iostat, mpstat, free, strace, tcpdump, netstat, nicstat, pidstat, swapon, lsof, sar, ss, iptraf, iotop, slaptop, pcstat, tiptop, rdmsr, lmbench, fio, pchar, perf_events, ftrace, SystemTap, ktap, sysdig, and eBPF; and reference many more. I also include updated tools diagrams for observability, sar, benchmarking, and tuning (including the image above).

This tutorial can be shared with a wide audience — anyone working on Linux systems — as a free crash course on Linux performance tools. I hope people enjoy it and find it useful. Here’s the playlist.

Part 1 (youtube) (54 mins):

Part 2 (youtube) (45 mins):

Slides (slideshare):

At Netflix, we have Atlas for cloud-wide monitoring, and Vector for on-demand instance analysis. Much of the time we don’t need to login to instances directly, but when we do, this tutorial covers the tools we use.

Thanks to O’Reilly for hosting a great conference, and those who attended.

If you are passionate about the content in this tutorial, we’re hiring, particularly for senior SREs and performance engineers: see Netflix jobs!

See Also:

Originally published at on August 3, 2015.