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pt-pmp - Aggregate GDB stack traces for a selected program.



pt-pmp [OPTIONS] [FILES]

pt-pmp is a poor man’s profiler, inspired by It can create and summarize full stack traces of processes on Linux. Summaries of stack traces can be an invaluable tool for diagnosing what a process is waiting for.


Percona Toolkit is mature, proven in the real world, and well tested, but all database tools can pose a risk to the system and the database server. Before using this tool, please:

  • Read the tool’s documentation

  • Review the tool’s known “BUGS”

  • Test the tool on a non-production server

  • Backup your production server and verify the backups


pt-pmp performs two tasks: it gets a stack trace, and it summarizes the stack trace. If a file is given on the command line, the tool skips the first step and just aggregates the file.

To summarize the stack trace, the tool extracts the function name (symbol) from each level of the stack, and combines them with commas. It does this for each thread in the output. Afterwards, it sorts similar threads together and counts how many of each one there are, then sorts them most-frequent first.

pt-pmp is a read-only tool. However, collecting GDB stacktraces is achieved by attaching GDB to the program and printing stack traces from all threads. This will freeze the program for some period of time, ranging from a second or so to much longer on very busy systems with a lot of memory and many threads in the program. In the tool’s default usage as a MySQL profiling tool, this means that MySQL will be unresponsive while the tool runs, although if you are using the tool to diagnose an unresponsive server, there is really no reason not to do this. In addition to freezing the server, there is also some risk of the server crashing or performing badly after GDB detaches from it.



short form: -b; type: string; default: mysqld

Which binary to trace.


Show help and exit.


short form: -s; type: int; default: 0

Number of seconds to sleep between --iterations.


short form: -i; type: int; default: 1

How many traces to gather and aggregate.


short form: -l; type: int; default: 0

Aggregate only first specified number of many functions; 0=infinity.


short form: -p; type: int

Process ID of the process to trace; overrides --binary.


short form: -k; type: string

Keep the raw traces in this file after aggregation.


Show version and exit.


This tool does not use any environment variables.


This tool requires Bash v3 or newer. If no backtrace files are given, then gdb is also required to create backtraces for the process specified on the command line.


For a list of known bugs, see

Please report bugs at Include the following information in your bug report:

  • Complete command-line used to run the tool

  • Tool --version

  • MySQL version of all servers involved

  • Output from the tool including STDERR

  • Input files (log/dump/config files, etc.)

If possible, include debugging output by running the tool with PTDEBUG; see “ENVIRONMENT”.


Using <PTDEBUG> might expose passwords. When debug is enabled, all command line parameters are shown in the output.


Visit to download the latest release of Percona Toolkit. Or, get the latest release from the command line:




You can also get individual tools from the latest release:


Replace TOOL with the name of any tool.


Baron Schwartz, based on a script by Domas Mituzas (


This tool is part of Percona Toolkit, a collection of advanced command-line tools for MySQL developed by Percona. Percona Toolkit was forked from two projects in June, 2011: Maatkit and Aspersa. Those projects were created by Baron Schwartz and primarily developed by him and Daniel Nichter. Visit to learn about other free, open-source software from Percona.


pt-pmp 3.5.7