CPU performance icon

CPU performance

CPU performance

Plugin: perf.plugin Module: perf.plugin


This collector monitors CPU performance metrics about cycles, instructions, migrations, cache operations and more.

It uses syscall (2) to open a file descriptior to monitor the perf events.

This collector is only supported on the following platforms:

  • Linux

This collector supports collecting metrics from multiple instances of this integration, including remote instances.

It needs setuid to use necessary syscall to collect perf events. Netada sets the permission during installation time.

Default Behavior


This integration doesn’t support auto-detection.


The default configuration for this integration does not impose any limits on data collection.

Performance Impact

The default configuration for this integration is not expected to impose a significant performance impact on the system.



Install perf plugin

If you are using our official native DEB/RPM packages, make sure the netdata-plugin-perf package is installed.

Enable the pref plugin

The plugin is disabled by default because the number of PMUs is usually quite limited and it is not desired to allow Netdata to struggle silently for PMUs, interfering with other performance monitoring software.

To enable it, use edit-config from the Netdata config directory, which is typically at /etc/netdata, to edit the netdata.conf file.

cd /etc/netdata   # Replace this path with your Netdata config directory, if different
sudo ./edit-config netdata.conf

Change the value of the perf setting to yes in the [plugins] section. Save the file and restart the Netdata Agent with sudo systemctl restart netdata, or the appropriate method for your system.



The configuration file name for this integration is netdata.conf. Configuration for this specific integration is located in the [plugin:perf] section within that file.

The file format is a modified INI syntax. The general structure is:

    option1 = some value
    option2 = some other value

    option3 = some third value

You can edit the configuration file using the edit-config script from the Netdata config directory.

cd /etc/netdata 2>/dev/null || cd /opt/netdata/etc/netdata
sudo ./edit-config netdata.conf


You can get the available options running:

/usr/libexec/netdata/plugins.d/perf.plugin  --help
Name Description Default Required
update every Data collection frequency. 1 False
command options Command options that specify charts shown by plugin. cycles, instructions, branch, cache, bus, stalled, migrations, alignment, emulation, L1D, L1D-prefetch, L1I, LL, DTLB, ITLB, PBU. 1 True


All metrics

Monitor all metrics available.

    command options = all

CPU cycles

Monitor CPU cycles.

    command options = cycles


Metrics grouped by scope.

The scope defines the instance that the metric belongs to. An instance is uniquely identified by a set of labels.

Per CPU performance instance

These metrics refer to the entire monitored application.

This scope has no labels.


Metric Dimensions Unit
perf.cpu_cycles cpu, ref_cpu cycles/s
perf.instructions instructions instructions/s
perf.instructions_per_cycle ipc instructions/cycle
perf.branch_instructions instructions, misses instructions/s
perf.cache references, misses operations/s
perf.bus_cycles bus cycles/s
perf.stalled_cycles frontend, backend cycles/s
perf.migrations migrations migrations
perf.alignment_faults faults faults
perf.emulation_faults faults faults
perf.l1d_cache read_access, read_misses, write_access, write_misses events/s
perf.l1d_cache_prefetch prefetches prefetches/s
perf.l1i_cache read_access, read_misses events/s
perf.ll_cache read_access, read_misses, write_access, write_misses events/s
perf.dtlb_cache read_access, read_misses, write_access, write_misses events/s
perf.itlb_cache read_access, read_misses events/s
perf.pbu_cache read_access events/s


There are no alerts configured by default for this integration.


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