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man pages section 8: System Administration Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022



latencytop - report latency-related statistics in system and in applications


latencytop [-t interval] [-o log_file] [-k log_level]
     [-f [no]feature,...] [-l log_interval] [-h]
     [ -s pid=PID | pgid=PGID ]


LatencyTOP is an observability tool that reports statistics about latencies in the system and in applications. The tool reports statistics about where and what kind of latencies are happening in the system and in the applications that are running on the system. The statistics then can be used to improve performance throughput of applications and system, as you remove the identified latencies.

The tool analyzes system activity periodically and displays the data in the output window. Two types of latencies are tracked: an LWP going in and out of sleep and an LWP spinning order to acquire a synchronization object. The tool uses the Solaris DTrace framework to collect the statistics corresponding to these two scenarios of inactivity of the system and application LWPs.

The output window is divided into two sections. An upper part displays the system-wide statistics, while the lower part displays statistics about individual processes. The user can navigate the list of processes (using the left- and right-arrow keys) and select the list they are interested in. The tool will then display statistics about that selected process in the lower part of the window. If the t or T key is pressed, the tool displays the LWP-specific view of that selected process. The t or T key can be used to toggle between the process-view and the thread-view.

During execution, a user can force a refresh of the analysis by pressing the r or R key. The interval time is restored to the default or to a specified value (if -t was used). To quit the application, the user must press the q or Q key.


The following options are supported:

–f, –-feature [no]feature1,[no]feature2,...

Enables/disables features in LatencyTOP. Features can be only one of the following:


Filter large interruptible latencies, for example, sleep. The default is off.


Monitors sched (PID=0). The default is off.


Monitors synchronize objects. The default is on.


Lower overhead by sampling small latencies. Enabling this feature will lower CPU utilization by estimating small latencies statistically. Use it for heavy workloads such as a very busy web server. The default is off.


Displays the command's usage.

–k log_level

Specifies the level of logging in the log file. Valid values are:


none (default)





–l [log_interval]

Writes data to the log file every log_interval seconds; log_interval must be greater than 60.

–o log_file

Specifies the log file where output will be written. The default log file is /var/log/latencytop.log.

–s pid=PID | pgid=PGID

Tracks only the specified process or the specified process group and displays data related only to that process or the process group.

–t interval

Specifies the interval, in seconds, at which the tool collects statistics from the system. The possible values are between 1 and 60; the default is 5 seconds.


Example 1 Running the Tool

The following command launches the tool with default values for options.

% latencytop
Example 2 Setting the Interval

The following command sets the sampling interval to two seconds.

% latencytop -t 2
Example 3 Specifying the Log File

The following command sets the log file to /tmp/latencytop.log.

% latencytop -o /tmp/latencytop.log
Example 4 Specifying the Log Level

The following command sets the log level to all.

% latencytop -l 2
Example 5 Enabling Tracing of Latencies

The following command enables the tracing of latencies caused by synchronization objects.

% latencytop -f sobj
Example 6 Displaying Data for a Process Group

The following command displays trace date for processes belonging to Process Group 630.

% latencytop -s pgid=630

Exit Status


Successful operation.


An error occurred.


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

x86, SPARC
Interface Stability

See Also

attributes(7), dtrace(8), kstat(8)


You must have DTrace privileges to run LatencyTOP.