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Introducing Litestats

Written on 2018-10-13.

Profiling in Python has always been easy, however, analyzing the profiler’s output not so much. After the profile has been created you can use Python’s pstats module but it feels quite clumsy and not really empowering. For Python 2 there has been RunSnakeRun, a very convenient tool for analyzing the profiler output, unfortunately that tool hasn’t been updated since 2014. I recently ported it to Python3 and wxPython4 but I’m probably not going to maintain that code properly as I’m not very comfortable with wxPython.

I still wanted something nicer than pstats for profiling so I wrote litestats. Litestats is a simple command line tool that takes the output of the Python profiler and transforms the data into a sqlite3 database. You can now easily analyze the profiler output using sqlite on the command line, the sqlitebrowser for a graphical interface or use the data base as the foundation of your very own tooling around the analysis.

How does it work?

Litestats reads the dump of the profiler and creates a normalized data base with tree tables:

While this provides an exact representation of the dump, those tables would be cumbersome to use. So litestats additionally creates three views emulating pstats print_stats(), print_callers() and print_callees() functionality:


Litestats has no requirements other than Python itself and is available on PyPI:

$ pip install litestats


$ # run the profiler and dump the output
$ python3 -m cProfile -o
$ # convert dump to sqlite3 db
$ litestats
$ # created

You can now use the sqlite3 data base to investigate the profiler dump:

sqlite> select *
   ...> from pstats
   ...> order by cumtime desc
   ...> limit 20;

ncalls      tottime     ttpercall             cumtime     ctpercall   filename:lineno(function)
----------  ----------  --------------------  ----------  ----------  ------------------------------------
18/1        0.000161    8.94444444444444e-06  0.067797    0.067797    ~:0(<built-in method builtins.exec>)
1           1.0e-06     1.0e-06               0.067755    0.067755    <string>:1(<module>)
1           4.0e-06     4.0e-06               0.067754    0.067754    /usr/lib/python3.7/
1           6.0e-06     6.0e-06               0.066135    0.066135    /usr/lib/python3.7/
1           1.1e-05     1.1e-05               0.066113    0.066113    /home/venthur/Documents/projects/lit
1           6.6e-05     6.6e-05               0.055152    0.055152    /home/venthur/Documents/projects/lit
1           4.1e-05     4.1e-05               0.0549      0.0549      /home/venthur/Documents/projects/lit
1           0.050196    0.050196              0.050196    0.050196    ~:0(<method 'executescript' of 'sqli
20/3        8.9e-05     4.45e-06              0.011064    0.003688    <frozen importlib._bootstrap>:978(_f
20/3        4.8e-05     2.4e-06               0.011005    0.00366833  <frozen importlib._bootstrap>:948(_f
20/3        7.5e-05     3.75e-06              0.01083     0.00361     <frozen importlib._bootstrap>:663(_l
15/3        3.5e-05     2.33333333333333e-06  0.01073     0.00357666  <frozen importlib._bootstrap_externa
29/5        2.5e-05     8.62068965517241e-07  0.010215    0.002043    <frozen importlib._bootstrap>:211(_c
3           6.0e-06     2.0e-06               0.010087    0.00336233  ~:0(<built-in method builtins.__impo
28/6        9.0e-06     3.21428571428571e-07  0.008977    0.00149616  <frozen importlib._bootstrap>:1009(_
1           9.0e-06     9.0e-06               0.00841     0.00841     /home/venthur/Documents/projects/lit
16          0.000138    8.625e-06             0.004802    0.00030012  <frozen importlib._bootstrap_externa
1           4.5e-05     4.5e-05               0.004143    0.004143    /usr/lib/python3.7/logging/__init__.
1           0.004038    0.004038              0.004038    0.004038    ~:0(<method 'commit' of 'sqlite3.Con
13          3.3e-05     2.53846153846154e-06  0.002368    0.00018215  <frozen importlib._bootstrap_externa

This entry was tagged profiling and python