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biosnoop(8) System Manager's Manual biosnoop(8)


biosnoop - Trace block device I/O and print details incl. issuing PID.


biosnoop [-hQ]


This tools traces block device I/O (disk I/O), and prints a one-line summary for each I/O showing various details. These include the latency from the time of issue to the device to its completion, and the PID and process name from when the I/O was first created (which usually identifies the responsible process).

This uses in-kernel eBPF maps to cache process details (PID and comm) by I/O request, as well as a starting timestamp for calculating I/O latency.

This works by tracing various kernel blk_*() functions using dynamic tracing, and will need updating to match any changes to these functions.

This makes use of a Linux 4.4 feature (bpf_perf_event_output()); for kernels older than 4.4, see the version under tools/old, which uses an older mechanism

Since this uses BPF, only the root user can use this tool.


CONFIG_BPF and bcc.


Print usage message.
Include a column showing the time spent quueued in the OS.


# biosnoop


Time of the I/O completion, in seconds since the first I/O was seen.
Cached process name, if present. This usually (but isn't guaranteed) to identify the responsible process for the I/O.
Cached process ID, if present. This usually (but isn't guaranteed) to identify the responsible process for the I/O.
Disk device name.
Type of I/O: R = read, W = write. This is a simplification.
Device sector for the I/O.
Size of the I/O, in bytes.
Time the I/O was queued in the OS before being issued to the device, in milliseconds.
Time for the I/O (latency) from the issue to the device, to its completion, in milliseconds.


Since block device I/O usually has a relatively low frequency (< 10,000/s), the overhead for this tool is expected to be negligible. For high IOPS storage systems, test and quantify before use.


This is from bcc.

Also look in the bcc distribution for a companion _examples.txt file containing example usage, output, and commentary for this tool.




Unstable - in development.


Brendan Gregg


disksnoop(8), iostat(1)

2015-09-16 USER COMMANDS