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Debug your database with Flame Graphs

Flame Graphs are used as a debugging tool to identify latency and the part of the execution path that takes most of the CPU time. Use Flame Graphs when you:

  • Need to understand which Scylla code path/functions are using the most time. For instance, when you have latency issues.

  • Need to compare time spent in particular Scylla code paths/functions on different shards. For instance, when you have latency issues on one CPU but not on the other.

Run a Flame Graph


  1. Install flamegraph and flamegraph-stackcollapse-perf

    From DNF

    dnf install flamegraph.noarch flamegraph-stackcollapse-perf.noarch

    If the above packages are not available in you distribution’s repositories, you can clone the FlameGraph git repository

    git clone
    cd FlameGraph
  2. Run the following perf commands, using Map CPU to Scylla Shards and Using the perf utility with Scylla for reference.

    sudo perf record --call-graph dwarf -C <CPU on which you are onrecording>
    sudo perf script | | > some_name.svg
  3. The result is an .svg file that is not just a picture but a dynamic diagram where you can search, zoom in, and zoom out. In order to enjoy a Flame Graph properly with all of its features you can open it in a browser such as Chrome or Firefox.



  • On the CPU you are recording, try to load Scylla to consume 100% of the CPU runtime. Otherwise you’ll see a lot of OS functions related to the idle time handling

  • Recording on all shards (e.g. using “perf record” -p parameter) may lead to confusing results recording the same symbol called from different threads (shards). This is not recommended.