Unikernel Performance Profiling Tools



Unikernels are increasingly gaining traction as they provide lightweight, low-overhead, high-performance execution of applications, while keeping the high isolation guarantees of virtualization crucial to multi-tenant deployments. However, developers still lack tools to support their development, especially compared to the rich toolsets that full operating systems such as Linux or BSD provide.

To improve on this state of affairs we introduce Uniprof, a unikernel profiler and performance debugger that gives developers insight into their unikernel behavior transparently, without having to instrument the unikernel itself. Uniprof works on both x86 and ARM, can profile even when frame pointers are unavailable, and can be used with visualization tools such as flame graphs. It incurs only minimal overhead (~0.1% at 100 samples/s) to the unikernel, making it ideal for profiling even on production systems.