Skip to content


There are a number of different ways to access profiling data on ARCHER2. In this section, we discuss the HPE Cray profiling tools, CrayPat-lite and CrayPat. We also show how to get usage data on currently running jobs from Slurm batch system.

You can also use the Arm Forge tool to profile applications on ARCHER2


CrayPat-lite is a simplified and easy-to-use version of the Cray Performance Measurement and Analysis Tool (CrayPat). CrayPat-lite provides basic performance analysis information automatically, with a minimum of user interaction, and yet offers information useful to users wishing to explore a program's behaviour further using the full CrayPat suite.

How to use CrayPat-lite

  1. Ensure the perftools-base module is loaded.

    module list

  2. Load the perftools-lite module.

    module load perftools-lite

  3. Compile your application normally. An informational message from CrayPat-lite will appear indicating that the executable has been instrumented.

    cc -h std=c99  -o myapplication.x myapplication.c
    INFO: creating the CrayPat-instrumented executable 'myapplication.x' (lite-samples) ...OK  
  4. Run the generated executable normally by submitting a job.

    #SBATCH --job-name=CrayPat_test
    #SBATCH --nodes=4
    #SBATCH --tasks-per-node=128
    #SBATCH --cpus-per-task=1
    #SBATCH --time=00:20:00
    #SBATCH --account=[budget code]
    #SBATCH --partition=standard
    #SBATCH --qos=standard
    # Launch the parallel program
    srun --hint=nomultithread --distribution=block:block mpi_test.x
  5. Analyse the data.

    After the job finishes executing, CrayPat-lite output should be printed to stdout (i.e. at the end of the job's output file). A new directory will also be created containing .rpt and .ap2 files. The .rpt files are text files that contain the same information printed in the job's output file and the .ap2 files can be used to obtain more detailed information, which can be visualized using the Cray Apprentice2 tool.

Further help


The Cray Performance Analysis Tool (CrayPat) is a powerful framework for analysing a parallel application’s performance on Cray supercomputers. It can provide very detailed information about the timing and performance of individual application procedures.

CrayPat can perform two types of performance analysis, sampling experiments and tracing experiments. A sampling experiment probes the code at a predefined interval and produces a report based on the data collected. A tracing experiment explicitly monitors the code performance within named routines. Typically, the overhead associated with a tracing experiment is higher than that associated with a sampling experiment but provides much more detailed information. The key to getting useful data out of a sampling experiment is to run your profiling for a representative length of time.

Sampling analysis

  1. Ensure the perftools-base module is loaded.

    module list

  2. Load perftools module.

    module load perftools

  3. Compile your code in the standard way always using the Cray compiler wrappers (ftn, cc and CC). Object files need to be made available to CrayPat to correctly build an instrumented executable for profiling or tracing, this means that the compile and link stage should be separated by using the -c compile flag.

    auser@ln01:/work/t01/t01/auser> cc -h std=c99 -c jacobi.c
    auser@ln01:/work/t01/t01/auser> cc jacobi.o -o jacobi
  4. To instrument the binary, run the pat_build command. This will generate a new binary with +pat appended to the end (e.g. jacobi+pat).

    auser@ln:/work/t01/t01/auser> pat_build jacobi

  5. Run the new executable with +pat appended as you would with the regular executable. Each run will produce its own 'experiment directory' containing the performance data as .xf files inside a subdirectory called xf-files (e.g. running the jacobi+pat instrumented executable might produce jacobi+pat+12265-1573s/xf-files).

  6. Generate report data with pat_report.

The .xf files contain the raw sampling data from the run and need to be post-processed to produce useful results. This is done using the pat_report tool which converts all the raw data into a summarised and readable form. You should provide the name of the experiment directory as the argument to pat_report.

auser@ln:/work/t01/t01/auser> pat_report jacobi+pat+12265-1573s

Table 1:  Profile by Function (limited entries shown)

Samp% |  Samp |  Imb. |  Imb. | Group
        |       |  Samp | Samp% |  Function
        |       |       |       |   PE=HIDE
100.0% | 849.5 |    -- |    -- | Total
|  56.7% | 481.4 |    -- |    -- | MPI
||  48.7% | 414.1 |  50.9 | 11.0% | MPI_Allreduce
||   4.4% |  37.5 | 118.5 | 76.6% | MPI_Waitall
||   3.0% |  25.2 |  44.8 | 64.5% | MPI_Isend
|  29.9% | 253.9 |  55.1 | 18.0% | USER
||  29.9% | 253.9 |  55.1 | 18.0% | main
|  13.4% | 114.1 |    -- |    -- | ETC
||  13.4% | 113.9 |  26.1 | 18.8% | __cray_memcpy_SNB

This report will generate more files with the extension .ap2 in the experiment directory. These hold the same data as the .xf files but in the post-processed form. Another file produced has an .apa extension and is a text file with a suggested configuration for generating a traced experiment.

The .ap2 files generated are used to view performance data graphically with the Cray Apprentice2 tool.

The pat_report command is able to produce many different profile reports from the profiling data. You can select a predefined report with the -O flag to pat_report. A selection of the most generally useful predefined report types are:= listed below.

  • ca+src - Show the callers (bottom-up view) leading to the routines that have a high use in the report and include source code line numbers for the calls and time-consuming statements.
  • load_balance - Show load-balance statistics for the high-use routines in the program. Parallel processes with minimum, maximum and median times for routines will be displayed. Only available with tracing experiments.
  • mpi_callers - Show MPI message statistics. Only available with tracing experiments.

Example output:

auser@ln01:/work/t01/t01/auser> pat_report -O ca+src,load_balance  jacobi+pat+12265-1573s

Table 1:  Profile by Function and Callers, with Line Numbers (limited entries shown)

Samp% |  Samp |  Imb. |  Imb. | Group
        |       |  Samp | Samp% |  Function
        |       |       |       |   PE=HIDE
100.0% | 849.5 |    -- |    -- | Total
|  56.7% | 481.4 | MPI
||  48.7% | 414.1 | MPI_Allreduce
3|        |       |  main:jacobi.c:line.80
||   4.4% |  37.5 | MPI_Waitall
3|        |       |  main:jacobi.c:line.73
||   3.0% |  25.2 | MPI_Isend
3||   1.6% |  13.2 | main:jacobi.c:line.65
3||   1.4% |  12.0 | main:jacobi.c:line.69
|  29.9% | 253.9 | USER
||  29.9% | 253.9 | main
3||  18.7% | 159.0 | main:jacobi.c:line.76
3||   9.1% |  76.9 | main:jacobi.c:line.84
|  13.4% | 114.1 | ETC
||  13.4% | 113.9 | __cray_memcpy_SNB
3|        |       |  __cray_memcpy_SNB

Tracing analysis

Automatic Program Analysis (APA)

We can produce a focused tracing experiment based on the results from the sampling experiment using pat_build with the .apa file produced during the sampling.

auser@ln01:/work/t01/t01/auser> pat_build -O jacobi+pat+12265-1573s/build-options.apa

This will produce a third binary with extension +apa. This binary should once again be run on the compute nodes and the name of the executable changed to jacobi+apa. As with the sampling analysis, a report can be produced using pat_report. For example:

auser@ln01:/work/t01/t01/auser> pat_report jacobi+apa+13955-1573t

Table 1:  Profile by Function Group and Function (limited entries shown)

Time% |      Time |     Imb. |  Imb. |       Calls | Group
        |           |     Time | Time% |             |  Function
        |           |          |       |             |   PE=HIDE

100.0% | 12.987762 |       -- |    -- | 1,387,544.9 | Total
|  44.9% |  5.831320 |       -- |    -- |         2.0 | USER
||  44.9% |  5.831229 | 0.398671 |  6.4% |         1.0 | main
|  29.2% |  3.789904 |       -- |    -- |   199,111.0 | MPI_SYNC
||  29.2% |  3.789115 | 1.792050 | 47.3% |   199,109.0 | MPI_Allreduce(sync)
|  25.9% |  3.366537 |       -- |    -- | 1,188,431.9 | MPI
||  18.0% |  2.334765 | 0.164646 |  6.6% |   199,109.0 | MPI_Allreduce
||   3.7% |  0.486714 | 0.882654 | 65.0% |   199,108.0 | MPI_Waitall
||   3.3% |  0.428731 | 0.557342 | 57.0% |   395,104.9 | MPI_Isend

Manual Program Analysis

CrayPat allows you to manually choose your profiling preference. This is particularly useful if the APA mode does not meet your tracing analysis requirements.

The entire program can be traced as a whole using -w:

auser@ln01:/work/t01/t01/auser> pat_build -w jacobi

Using -g, a program can be instrumented to trace all function entry point references belonging to the trace function group (mpi, libsci, lapack, scalapack, heap, etc):

auser@ln01:/work/t01/t01/auser> pat_build -w -g mpi jacobi

Dynamically-linked binaries

CrayPat allows you to profile un-instrumented, dynamically linked binaries with the pat_run utility. pat_run delivers profiling information for codes that cannot easily be rebuilt. To use pat_run:

  1. Load the perftools-base module if it is not already loaded.

    module load perftools-base

  2. Run your application normally including the pat_run command right after your srun options.

    srun [srun-options] pat_run [pat_run-options] program [program-options]

  3. Use pat_report to examine any data collected during the execution of your application.

    auser@ln01:/work/t01/t01/auser> pat_report jacobi+pat+12265-1573s

Some useful pat_run options are as follows.

  • -w Collect data by tracing.
  • -g Trace functions belonging to group names. See the -g option in pat_build(1) for a list of valid tracegroup values.
  • -r Generate a text report upon successful execution.

Further help

Cray Apprentice2

Cray Apprentice2 is an optional GUI tool that is used to visualize and manipulate the performance analysis data captured during program execution. Cray Apprentice2 can display a wide variety of reports and graphs, depending on the type of program being analyzed, the way in which the program was instrumented for data capture, and the data that was collected during program execution.

You will need to use CrayPat to first instrument your program and capture performance analysis data, and then pat_report to generate the .ap2 files from the results. You may then use Cray Apprentice2 to visualize and explore those files.

The number and appearance of the reports that can be generated using Cray Apprentice2 is determined by the kind and quantity of data captured during program execution, which in turn is determined by the way in which the program was instrumented and the environment variables in effect at the time of program execution. For example, changing the PAT_RT_SUMMARY environment variable to 0 before executing the instrumented program nearly doubles the number of reports available when analyzing the resulting data in Cray Apprentice2.


To use Cray Apprentice2 (app2), load perftools-base module if it is not already loaded.

module load perftools-base

Next, open the experiment directory generated during the instrumentation phase with Apprentice2.

auser@ln01:/work/t01/t01/auser> app2 jacobi+pat+12265-1573s

Hardware Performance Counters


A limited number of hardware performance counters are currently available on the ARCHER2 compute nodes. We are working to make more available.

Hardware performance counters can be used to monitor CPU and power events on ARCHER2 compute nodes. The monitoring and reporting of hardware counter events is integrated with CrayPat - users should use CrayPat as described earlier in this section to run profiling experiments to gather data from hardware counter events and to analyse the data.

Counters and counter groups available

You can explore which event counters are available on compute nodes by running the following commands (replace t01 with a valid budget code for your account):

module load perftools
srun --ntasks=1 --partition=standard --qos=short --account=t01 papi_avail

For convenience, the CrayPat tool provides predetermined groups of hardware event counters. You can get more information on the hardware event counters available through CrayPat with the following commands (on a login or compute node):

module load perftools
pat_help counters rome groups

If you want information on which hardware event counters are included in a group you can type the group name at the prompt you get after running the command above. Once you have finished browsing the help, type . to quit back to the command line.

Power/energy counters available

You can also access counters on power/energy consumption. To list the counters available to monitor power/energy use you can use the command (replace t01 with a valid budget code for your account):

module load perftools
srun --ntasks=1 --partition=standard --qos=short --account=t01 papi_native_avail -i cray_pm

Enabling hardware counter data collection

You enable the collection of hardware event counter data as part of a CrayPat experiment by setting the environment variable PAT_RT_PERFCTR to a comma separated list of the groups/counters that you wish to measure.

For example, you could set (usually in your job submission script):


to use the 1 counter group (summary with branch activity).

Analysing hardware counter data

If you enabled collection of hardware event counters when running your profiling experiment, you will automatically get a report on the data when you use the pat_report command to analyse the profile experiment data file.

You will see information similar to the following in the output from CrayPat for different sections of your code (this example if for the case where export PAT_RT_PERFCTR=1, counter group: summary with branch activity, was set in the job submission script):

  USER / main
  Time%                                                   88.3% 
  Time                                               446.113787 secs
  Imb. Time                                           33.094417 secs
  Imb. Time%                                               6.9% 
  Calls                       0.002 /sec                    1.0 calls
  PAPI_BR_TKN                 0.240G/sec    106,855,535,005.863 branch
  PAPI_TOT_INS                5.679G/sec  2,533,386,435,314.367 instr
  PAPI_BR_INS                 0.509G/sec    227,125,246,394.008 branch
  PAPI_TOT_CYC                            1,243,344,265,012.828 cycles
  Instr per cycle                                          2.04 inst/cycle
  MIPS                 1,453,770.20M/sec                        
  Average Time per Call                              446.113787 secs
  CrayPat Overhead : Time      0.2%           

More information on hardware counters

More information on using hardware counters can be found in the appropriate section of the HPE documentation:

Performance and profiling data in Slurm

Slurm commands on the login nodes can be used to quickly and simply retrieve information about memory usage for currently running and completed jobs.

There are three commands you can use on ARCHER2 to query job data from Slurm, two are standard Slurm commands and one is a script that provides information on running jobs:

  • The sstat command is used to display status information of a running job or job step
  • The sacct command is used to display accounting data for all finished jobs and job steps within the Slurm job database.
  • The archer2jobload command is used to show CPU and memory usage information for running jobs. (This script is based on one originally written for the COSMA HPC facility at the University of Durham.)

We provide examples of the use of these three commands below.

For the sacct and sstat command, the memory properties we print out below are:

  • AveRSS - The mean memory use per node over the length of the job
  • MaxRSS - The maximum memory use per node measured during the job
  • MaxRSSTask - The maximum memory use from any process in the job

Example 1: sstat for running jobs

To display the current memory use of a running job with the ID 123456:

sstat --format=JobID,AveCPU,AveRSS,MaxRSS,MaxRSSTask -j 123456

Example 2: sacct for finished jobs

To display the memory use of a completed job with the ID 123456:

sacct --format=JobID,JobName,AveRSS,MaxRSS,MaxRSSTask -j 123456

Another usage of sacct is to display when a job was submitted, started running and ended for a particular user:

sacct --format=JobID,Submit,Start,End -u auser

Example 3: archer2jobload for running jobs

Using the archer2jobload command on its own with no options will show the current CPU and memory use across compute nodes for all running jobs.

More usefully, you can provide a job ID to archer2jobload and it will show a summary of the CPU and memory use for a specific job. For example, to get the usage data for job 123456, you would use:

auser@ln01:~> archer2jobload 123456
# JOB: 123456
CPU_LOAD            MEMORY              ALLOCMEM            FREE_MEM            TMP_DISK            NODELIST            
127.35-127.86       256000              239872              169686-208172       0                   nid[001481,001638-00

This shows the minimum CPU load on a compute node is 126.04 (close to the limit of 128 cores) with the maximum load 127.41 (indicating all the nodes are being used evenly). The minimum free memory is 171893 MB and the maximum free memory is 177224 MB.

If you add the -l option, you will see a breakdown per node:

auser@ln01:~> archer2jobload -l 276236
# JOB: 123456
NODELIST            CPU_LOAD            MEMORY              ALLOCMEM            FREE_MEM            TMP_DISK            
nid001481           127.86              256000              239872              169686              0                   
nid001638           127.60              256000              239872              171060              0                   
nid001639           127.64              256000              239872              171253              0                   
nid001677           127.85              256000              239872              173820              0                   
nid001678           127.75              256000              239872              173170              0                   
nid001891           127.63              256000              239872              173316              0                   
nid001921           127.65              256000              239872              207562              0                   
nid001922           127.35              256000              239872              208172              0 

Further help with Slurm

The definitions of any variables discussed here and more usage information can be found in the man pages of sstat and sacct.

Arm Forge

The Arm Forge tool also provides profiling capabilities. See: