XPerf is a tool that allows you to take a detailed trace of various system activity like CPU, I/O and more...

Because of it's detail you can see stack trace counts, disk position offset graphs, driver calls and so on...

Is there a XPerf-a-like alternative for Linux and Mac OS X? What are the top-notch performance tools there?

4 Answers 4


For linux you can combine many tools. top (or htop), iotop, etc. You could also install BSD accounting and use the sa command.

  • 1
    Some (or all?) of accounting is also available on OS X.
    – Daniel Beck
    Mar 26, 2011 at 14:54

For OS X, look into dtrace and derived tools (I think fs_usage and sc_usage are related; there's also a Linux port), as well as parts of Apple's Developer Tools such as Shark (see e.g. here and here).


fseventer is an excellent GUI filesystem monitor for OS X (support until 10.9 Mavericks, 10.10 Yosemite yet unsupported) . It uses the Spotlight API, and often helped me to determine undesired write activities, or determine which config files are indeed read in, etc.

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