profiler.h – performance profiling

Timer based on the cycle counter

void timeit_start(timeit_t t)
void timeit_stop(timeit_t t)

Gives wall and user time - useful for parallel programming.

Example usage:

timeit_t t0;

// ...


// do stuff, take some time


flint_printf("cpu = %wd ms  wall = %wd ms\n", t0->cpu, t0->wall);
void start_clock(int n)
void stop_clock(int n)
double get_clock(int n)

Gives time based on cycle counter.

First one must ensure the processor speed in cycles per second is set correctly in profiler.h, in the macro definition #define FLINT_CLOCKSPEED.

One can access the cycle counter directly by get_cycle_counter() which returns the current cycle counter as a double.

A sample usage of clocks is:



// do something


flint_printf("Time in seconds is %f.3\n", get_clock(n));

where n is a clock number (from 0-19 by default). The number of clocks can be changed by altering FLINT_NUM_CLOCKS. One can also initialise an individual clock with init_clock(n).

Framework for repeatedly sampling a single target

void prof_repeat(double *min, double *max, profile_target_t target, void *arg)

Allows one to automatically time a given function. Here is a sample usage:

Suppose one has a function one wishes to profile:

void myfunc(ulong a, ulong b);

One creates a struct for passing arguments to our function:

typedef struct
    ulong a, b;
} myfunc_t;

a sample function:

void sample_myfunc(void * arg, ulong count)
    myfunc_t * params = (myfunc_t *) arg;

    ulong a = params->a;
    ulong b = params->b;

    for (ulong i = 0; i < count; i++)
        myfunc(a, b);

Then we do the profile:

double min, max;

myfunc_t params;

params.a = 3;
params.b = 4;

prof_repeat(&min, &max, sample_myfunc, &params);

flint_printf("Min time is %lf.3s, max time is %lf.3s\n", min, max);

If either of the first two parameters to prof_repeat are NULL, that value is not stored.

One may set the minimum time in microseconds for a timing run by adjusting DURATION_THRESHOLD and one may set a target duration in microseconds by adjusting DURATION_TARGET in profiler.h.

Memory usage

void get_memory_usage(meminfo_t meminfo)

Obtains information about the memory usage of the current process. The meminfo object contains the slots size (virtual memory size), peak (peak virtual memory size), rss (resident set size), hwm (peak resident set size). The values are stored in kilobytes (1024 bytes). This function currently only works on Linux.

Simple profiling macros

TIMEIT_REPEAT(timer, reps)
TIMEIT_END_REPEAT(timer, reps)

Repeatedly runs the code between the TIMEIT_REPEAT and the TIMEIT_END_REPEAT markers, automatically increasing the number of repetitions until the elapsed time exceeds the timer resolution. The macro takes as input a predefined timeit_t object and an integer variable to hold the number of repetitions.


Repeatedly runs the code between the TIMEIT_START and the TIMEIT_STOP markers, automatically increasing the number of repetitions until the elapsed time exceeds the timer resolution, and then prints the average elapsed cpu and wall time for a single repetition.


Runs the code between the TIMEIT_ONCE_START and the TIMEIT_ONCE_STOP markers exactly once and then prints the elapsed cpu and wall time. This does not give a precise measurement if the elapsed time is short compared to the timer resolution.


Retrieves memory usage information via get_memory_usage and prints the results.