manpagez: man pages & more
info gawk
Home | html | info | man

gawk: Profiling

 12.5 Profiling Your 'awk' Programs
 You may produce execution traces of your 'awk' programs.  This is done
 by passing the option '--profile' to 'gawk'.  When 'gawk' has finished
 running, it creates a profile of your program in a file named
 'awkprof.out'.  Because it is profiling, it also executes up to 45%
 slower than 'gawk' normally does.
    As shown in the following example, the '--profile' option can be used
 to change the name of the file where 'gawk' will write the profile:
      gawk -f myprog.awk data1 data2
 In the preceding example, 'gawk' places the profile in ''
 instead of in 'awkprof.out'.
    Here is a sample session showing a simple 'awk' program, its input
 data, and the results from running 'gawk' with the '--profile' option.
 First, the 'awk' program:
      BEGIN { print "First BEGIN rule" }
      END { print "First END rule" }
      /foo/ {
          print "matched /foo/, gosh"
          for (i = 1; i <= 3; i++)
          if (/foo/)
              print "if is true"
              print "else is true"
      BEGIN { print "Second BEGIN rule" }
      END { print "Second END rule" }
      function sing(    dummy)
          print "I gotta be me!"
    Following is the input data:
    Here is the 'awkprof.out' that results from running the 'gawk'
 profiler on this program and data (this example also illustrates that
 'awk' programmers sometimes get up very early in the morning to work):
          # gawk profile, created Mon Sep 29 05:16:21 2014
          # BEGIN rule(s)
          BEGIN {
       1          print "First BEGIN rule"
          BEGIN {
       1          print "Second BEGIN rule"
          # Rule(s)
       5  /foo/ { # 2
       2          print "matched /foo/, gosh"
       6          for (i = 1; i <= 3; i++) {
       6                  sing()
       5  {
       5          if (/foo/) { # 2
       2                  print "if is true"
       3          } else {
       3                  print "else is true"
          # END rule(s)
          END {
       1          print "First END rule"
          END {
       1          print "Second END rule"
          # Functions, listed alphabetically
       6  function sing(dummy)
       6          print "I gotta be me!"
    This example illustrates many of the basic features of profiling
 output.  They are as follows:
    * The program is printed in the order 'BEGIN' rules, 'BEGINFILE'
      rules, pattern-action rules, 'ENDFILE' rules, 'END' rules, and
      functions, listed alphabetically.  Multiple 'BEGIN' and 'END' rules
      retain their separate identities, as do multiple 'BEGINFILE' and
      'ENDFILE' rules.
    * Pattern-action rules have two counts.  The first count, to the left
      of the rule, shows how many times the rule's pattern was _tested_.
      The second count, to the right of the rule's opening left brace in
      a comment, shows how many times the rule's action was _executed_.
      The difference between the two indicates how many times the rule's
      pattern evaluated to false.
    * Similarly, the count for an 'if'-'else' statement shows how many
      times the condition was tested.  To the right of the opening left
      brace for the 'if''s body is a count showing how many times the
      condition was true.  The count for the 'else' indicates how many
      times the test failed.
    * The count for a loop header (such as 'for' or 'while') shows how
      many times the loop test was executed.  (Because of this, you can't
      just look at the count on the first statement in a rule to
      determine how many times the rule was executed.  If the first
      statement is a loop, the count is misleading.)
    * For user-defined functions, the count next to the 'function'
      keyword indicates how many times the function was called.  The
      counts next to the statements in the body show how many times those
      statements were executed.
    * The layout uses "K&R" style with TABs.  Braces are used everywhere,
      even when the body of an 'if', 'else', or loop is only a single
    * Parentheses are used only where needed, as indicated by the
      structure of the program and the precedence rules.  For example,
      '(3 + 5) * 4' means add three and five, then multiply the total by
      four.  However, '3 + 5 * 4' has no parentheses, and means '3 + (5 *
    * Parentheses are used around the arguments to 'print' and 'printf'
      only when the 'print' or 'printf' statement is followed by a
      redirection.  Similarly, if the target of a redirection isn't a
      scalar, it gets parenthesized.
    * 'gawk' supplies leading comments in front of the 'BEGIN' and 'END'
      rules, the 'BEGINFILE' and 'ENDFILE' rules, the pattern-action
      rules, and the functions.
    The profiled version of your program may not look exactly like what
 you typed when you wrote it.  This is because 'gawk' creates the
 profiled version by "pretty-printing" its internal representation of the
 program.  The advantage to this is that 'gawk' can produce a standard
 representation.  Also, things such as:
 come out as:
      /foo/   {
          print $0
 which is correct, but possibly unexpected.
    Besides creating profiles when a program has completed, 'gawk' can
 produce a profile while it is running.  This is useful if your 'awk'
 program goes into an infinite loop and you want to see what has been
 executed.  To use this feature, run 'gawk' with the '--profile' option
 in the background:
      $ gawk --profile -f myprog &
      [1] 13992
 The shell prints a job number and process ID number; in this case,
 13992.  Use the 'kill' command to send the 'USR1' signal to 'gawk':
      $ kill -USR1 13992
 As usual, the profiled version of the program is written to
 'awkprof.out', or to a different file if one was specified with the
 '--profile' option.
    Along with the regular profile, as shown earlier, the profile file
 includes a trace of any active functions:
      # Function Call Stack:
      #   3. baz
      #   2. bar
      #   1. foo
      # -- main --
    You may send 'gawk' the 'USR1' signal as many times as you like.
 Each time, the profile and function call trace are appended to the
 output profile file.
    If you use the 'HUP' signal instead of the 'USR1' signal, 'gawk'
 produces the profile and the function call trace and then exits.
    When 'gawk' runs on MS-Windows systems, it uses the 'INT' and 'QUIT'
 signals for producing the profile, and in the case of the 'INT' signal,
 'gawk' exits.  This is because these systems don't support the 'kill'
 command, so the only signals you can deliver to a program are those
 generated by the keyboard.  The 'INT' signal is generated by the
 'Ctrl-c' or 'Ctrl-BREAK' key, while the 'QUIT' signal is generated by
 the 'Ctrl-\' key.
    Finally, 'gawk' also accepts another option, '--pretty-print'.  When
 called this way, 'gawk' "pretty-prints" the program into 'awkprof.out',
 without any execution counts.
      NOTE: Once upon a time, the '--pretty-print' option would also run
      your program.  This is is no longer the case.
    There is a significant difference between the output created when
 profiling, and that created when pretty-printing.  Pretty-printed output
 preserves the original comments that were in the program, although their
 placement may not correspond exactly to their original locations in the
 source code.(1)
    However, as a deliberate design decision, profiling output _omits_
 the original program's comments.  This allows you to focus on the
 execution count data and helps you avoid the temptation to use the
 profiler for pretty-printing.
    Additionally, pretty-printed output does not have the leading
 indentation that the profiling output does.  This makes it easy to
 pretty-print your code once development is completed, and then use the
 result as the final version of your program.
    Because the internal representation of your program is formatted to
 recreate an 'awk' program, profiling and pretty-printing automatically
 disable 'gawk''s default optimizations.
    Pretty printing also preserves the original format of numeric
 constants; if you used an octal or hexadecimal value in your source
 code, it will appear that way in the output.
    ---------- Footnotes ----------
    (1) 'gawk' does the best it can to preserve the distinction between
 comments at the end of a statement and comments on lines by themselves.
 Due to implementation constraints, it does not always do so correctly,
 particularly for 'switch' statements.  The 'gawk' maintainers hope to
 improve this in a subsequent release.
© 2000-2018
Individual documents may contain additional copyright information.