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Chapter 3. Processes > Tools for Process Analysis

3.1. Tools for Process Analysis

Since there are so many tools for process analysis, it can be helpful to group them into general categories.

  • Overall status tools. The prstat command immediately provides a by-process indication of CPU and memory consumption. prstat can also fetch microstate accounting details and by-thread details. The original command for listing process status is ps, the output of which can be customized.

  • Control tools. Various commands, such as pkill, pstop, prun and preap, control the state of a process. These commands can be used to repair application issues, especially runaway processes.

  • Introspection tools. Numerous commands, such as pstack, pmap, pfiles, and pargs inspect process details. pmap and pfiles examine the memory and file resources of a process; pstack can view the stack backtrace of a process and its threads, providing a glimpse of which functions are currently running.

  • Lock activity examination tools. Excessive lock activity and contention can be identified with the plockstat command and DTrace.

  • Tracing tools. Tracing system calls and function calls provides the best insight into process behavior. Solaris provides tools including truss, apptrace, and dtrace to trace processes.


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