lmbench - system benchmarks
lmbench is a series of micro benchmarks intended to measure basic operating system and hardware system metrics. The benchmarks fall into three general classes: bandwidth, latency, and ‘’other’’.
Most of the lmbench benchmarks use a standard timing harness described in timing(3) and have a few standard options: parallelism, warmup, and repetitions. Parallelism specifies the number of benchmark processes to run in parallel. This is primarily useful when measuring the performance of SMP or distributed computers and can be used to evaluate the system’s performance scalability. Warmup is the number of minimum number of microseconds the benchmark should execute the benchmarked capability before it begins measuring performance. Again this is primarily useful for SMP or distributed systems and it is intended to give the process scheduler time to “settle” and migrate processes to other processors. By measuring performance over various warmup periods, users may evaulate the scheduler’s responsiveness. Repetitions is the number of measurements that the benchmark should take. This allows lmbench to provide greater or lesser statistical strength to the results it reports. The default number of repetitions is 11.
Data movement is fundemental to the performance on most computer systems. The bandwidth measurements are intended to show how the system can move data. The results of the bandwidth metrics can be compared but care must be taken to understand what it is that is being compared. The bandwidth benchmarks can be reduced to two main components: operating system overhead and memory speeds. The bandwidth benchmarks report their results as megabytes moved per second but please note that the data moved is not necessarily the same as the memory bandwidth used to move the data. Consult the individual man pages for more information.
Each of the bandwidth benchmarks is listed below with a brief overview of the intent of the benchmark.
Control messages are also fundemental to the performance on most computer systems. The latency measurements are intended to show how fast a system can be told to do some operation. The results of the latency metrics can be compared to each other for the most part. In particular, the pipe, rpc, tcp, and udp transactions are all identical benchmarks carried out over different system abstractions.
Latency numbers here should mostly be in microseconds per operation.
lat_pagefault the time it takes to fault in a page from a file.
the time it takes to establish a UNIX socket connection.
bargraph(1) , graph(1) , lmbench(3) , results(3) , timing(3) , bw_file_rd(8) , bw_mem_cp(8) , bw_mem_wr(8) , bw_mmap_rd(8) , bw_pipe(8) , bw_tcp(8) , bw_unix(8) , lat_connect(8) , lat_ctx(8) , lat_fcntl(8) , lat_fifo(8) , lat_fs(8) , lat_http(8) , lat_mem_rd(8) , lat_mmap(8) , lat_ops(8) , lat_pagefault(8) , lat_pipe(8) , lat_proc(8) , lat_rpc(8) , lat_select(8) , lat_sig(8) , lat_syscall(8) , lat_tcp(8) , lat_udp(8) , lmdd(8) , par_ops(8) , par_mem(8) , mhz(8) , tlb(8) , line(8) , cache(8) , stream(8)
Funding for the development of these tools was provided by Sun Microsystems Computer Corporation.
A large number of people have contributed to the testing and development of lmbench.
The benchmarking code is distributed under the GPL with additional restrictions, see the COPYING file.
Carl Staelin and Larry McVoy
Comments, suggestions, and bug reports are always welcome.
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