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7 Answers to Common Questions

How can I get more exact information about hot spots in my program?
Looking at the per-line call counts only tells part of the story. Because gprof can only report call times and counts by function, the best way to get finer-grained information on where the program is spending its time is to re-factor large functions into sequences of calls to smaller ones. Beware however that this can introduce artifical hot spots since compiling with `-pg' adds a significant overhead to function calls. An alternative solution is to use a non-intrusive profiler, e.g. oprofile.
How do I find which lines in my program were executed the most times?
Compile your program with basic-block counting enabled, run it, then use the following pipeline:
          gprof -l -C objfile | sort -k 3 -n -r

This listing will show you the lines in your code executed most often, but not necessarily those that consumed the most time.

How do I find which lines in my program called a particular function?
Use `gprof -l' and lookup the function in the call graph. The callers will be broken down by function and line number.
How do I analyze a program that runs for less than a second?
Try using a shell script like this one:
          for i in `seq 1 100`; do
            mv gmon.out gmon.out.$i
          gprof -s fastprog gmon.out.*
          gprof fastprog gmon.sum

If your program is completely deterministic, all the call counts will be simple multiples of 100 (i.e. a function called once in each run will appear with a call count of 100).