MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual Including MySQL NDB Cluster 7.2 Reference Guide Filesort Probes

The filesort probes are triggered whenever a filesort operation is applied to a table. For more information on filesort and the conditions under which it occurs, see Section, “ORDER BY Optimization”.

filesort-start(database, table)
filesort-done(status, rows)

An example of this is in the following script, which tracks the duration of the filesort process in addition to the duration of the main query:

#!/usr/sbin/dtrace -s

#pragma D option quiet

   printf("%-2s %-10s %-10s %9s %18s %-s \n",
          "St", "Who", "DB", "ConnID", "Dur microsec", "Query");

   self->query = copyinstr(arg0);
   self->who   = strjoin(copyinstr(arg3),strjoin("@",copyinstr(arg4)));
   self->db    = copyinstr(arg2);
   self->connid = arg1;
   self->querystart = timestamp;
   self->filesort = 0;
   self->fsdb = "";
   self->fstable = "";

  self->filesort = timestamp;
  self->fsdb = copyinstr(arg0);
  self->fstable = copyinstr(arg1);

   this->elapsed = (timestamp - self->filesort) /1000;
   printf("%2d %-10s %-10s %9d %18d Filesort on %s\n",
          arg0, self->who, self->fsdb,
          self->connid, this->elapsed, self->fstable);

   this->elapsed = (timestamp - self->querystart) /1000;
   printf("%2d %-10s %-10s %9d %18d %s\n",
          arg0, self->who, self->db,
          self->connid, this->elapsed, self->query);

Executing a query on a large table with an ORDER BY clause that triggers a filesort, and then creating an index on the table and then repeating the same query, you can see the difference in execution speed:

St Who        DB            ConnID       Dur microsec Query
 0 @localhost test              14           11335469 Filesort on t1
 0 @localhost test              14           11335787 select * from t1 order by i limit 100
 0 @localhost test              14          466734378 create index t1a on t1 (i)
 0 @localhost test              14              26472 select * from t1 order by i limit 100