Interpreting trace data in the System Profiler

When a kernel event trace launched through the IDE finishes and you choose to open the new log file, the System Profiler editor displays the file's data. This editor is highly interactive and lets you see subsets of event data, which helps you understand component interaction and troubleshoot problems.

To manually open a trace file, choose File > Open File and navigate to and select the file. All kernel event logs generated for a specific target from the IDE are stored in workspace_dir/target_conn_name.

Note: If you run a kernel event trace outside of the IDE, you can still view the results with the System Profiler. You just need to copy the log file to a suitable host location and open it in the IDE.
By default, the Summary pane is shown. This pane reports the system-wide CPU time breakdown and general statistics about the kernel event trace, in the System Activity area. It also shows execution metrics for individual processes and threads, in the Process & Thread Activity area.

Screenshot of Summary pane in System Profiler editor
In the upper left corner, the piechart and table show you how busy the target machine was during the trace period. This graph and its accompanying statistics reveal the CPU time spent being idle, running user code, running system (kernel) code, or processing interrupts. In the upper right corner, the kernel event trace statistics include but aren't limited to:

The Process & Thread Activity area contains a bar graph illustrating the change in CPU usage and the event rate. Below the chart, a table indicates how busy each process and thread was during the trace period, by revealing the times spent in specific execution states and the number of kernel calls made. Details on all statistics shown in either area of the pane are found in the Summary Pane reference.

The editor lets you visualize the trace data in different ways, by clicking the Switch Pane menu in the upper right corner (Icon: Switch Pane dropdown) and selecting a different pane. The panes that are most useful depend on which information you're trying to extract and which problems you're trying to solve. In the sections that follow, we describe how to locate specific events and filter the data in the System Profiler editor to perform common cases of analysis and troubleshooting.