Profiling for Ray Developers

This document details, for Ray developers, how to analyze Ray performance.

Getting a stack trace of Ray C++ processes

You can use the following GDB command to view the current stack trace of any running Ray process (e.g., raylet). This can be useful for debugging 100% CPU utilization or infinite loops (simply run the command a few times to see what the process is stuck on).

sudo gdb -batch -ex "thread apply all bt" -p <pid>

Note that you can find the pid of the raylet with pgrep raylet.


These instructions are for Ubuntu only. Attempts to get pprof to correctly symbolize on Mac OS have failed.

sudo apt-get install google-perftools libgoogle-perftools-dev

Launching the to-profile binary

If you want to launch Ray in profiling mode, define the following variables:

export RAYLET_PERFTOOLS_PATH=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
export RAYLET_PERFTOOLS_LOGFILE=/tmp/pprof.out

The file /tmp/pprof.out will be empty until you let the binary run the target workload for a while and then kill it via ray stop or by letting the driver exit.

Visualizing the CPU profile

The output of pprof can be visualized in many ways. Here we output it as a zoomable .svg image displaying the call graph annotated with hot paths.

# Use the appropriate path.

google-pprof -svg $RAYLET /tmp/pprof.out > /tmp/pprof.svg
# Then open the .svg file with Chrome.

# If you realize the call graph is too large, use -focus=<some function> to zoom
# into subtrees.
google-pprof -focus=epoll_wait -svg $RAYLET /tmp/pprof.out > /tmp/pprof.svg

Here’s a snapshot of an example svg output, taken from the official documentation:

Running Microbenchmarks

To run a set of single-node Ray microbenchmarks, use:

ray microbenchmark

You can find the microbenchmark results for Ray releases in the GitHub release logs.