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Free online tutorial on performance tools now available

A free online tutorial, Introduction to Performance Tools, has been released in CI-Tutor. This tutorial provides an introduction to a number of commonly-used performance tools on the TeraGrid’s high-performance computing resources.

The highlighted tools include two Linux utilities: strace, which traces system calls and signals during program execution; and gprof, which can be used to track how functions are using system resources. More complex toolsets include NCSA’s PerfSuite, a collection of tools and supporting libraries that provides a higher-level view of application performance, and TAU (Tuning and Analysis Utilities), a suite of tools for performance instrumentation, analysis, and visualization of large-scale parallel computer systems and applications. The course is organized as individual lessons that provide a general overview of each tool, demonstrate how the tool might be run on a TeraGrid computing resource, provide examples of subsequent data analysis, and conclude with self-assessment and pointers to more comprehensive resources regarding each tool.

CI-Tutor offers a number of courses covering topics in high-performance computing, such as multi-core performance, performance tuning, large-scale parallel simulation, scientific visualization, and debugging. The courses are available to everyone and can be accessed by registering and creating a login. To see the courses offered, go to the course catalog at To login and take a course, go to the CI-Tutor homepage at

CI-Tutor is hosted by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The effort is supported in part by the National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure through the TeraGrid and Blue Waters projects.

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