POWERTOP(8) Maintenance Procedures POWERTOP(8)


powertop - report and analyze events that affect power management


powertop [-c processor_id] [-d count] [-t interval] [-v] [-h]


PowerTOP is an observability tool that shows how effectively the system
is taking advantage of the CPU's power management features. By running
the tool on an otherwise idle system, the user can see for how long the
CPU is running at different power states. Ideally, an unutilized (idle)
system spends 100% of its time running at the lowest power state, but
because of background user and kernel activity (random software
periodically waking to poll status), idle systems can consume more power
than they should.

The tool analyzes system activity periodically and displays a summary of
how long the processor is executing at each supported power state. It
also displays the top activities responsible for causing the CPU to wake
up and use more energy. This report allows the user to identify and
diagnose problematic areas of the system and optimize its power

PowerTOP averages the amount of activity that is preventing the CPU from
entering a lower power state and presents it on the "Wakeups-from-idle
per second" field. This value represents the total number of wake-ups
divided by the current interval. Notice that not all events are displayed
on the screen at all times.

During execution, a user can force a refresh of the analysis by pressing
the R key. The interval time is restored to the default or to a specified
value. To quit the application, the user must press the Q key.

If you are running as root (superuser) or in the Primary Administrator
role, the tool makes suggestions as how the system can be improved from a
power management perspective.

PowerTOP allows you to freeze each of its three subwindows, enabling you
to better analyze each subwindow's contents. When you have three
different DTrace scripts running at the same time, freezing subwindows
lowers CPU consumption. This feature is activated by pressing the i, f,
or e key while the tool running. Pressing one of these keys freezes the
idle, frequency, or event report, respectively. Pressing it once more,
unfreezes it. This feature is most useful when invoked while the
application being analyzed is running.

PowerTOP runs on xVM(7) domains. However, the report for idle state
transitions might or might not be accurate as the physical CPU can be
shared by different virtual CPUs. Both wakeup count and event report
displays information regarding the current virtualized environment.


The following options are supported:

-c [processor_id]

Specifies which CPU the tool should observe.

-d [count]

Dumps the results of count analysis of system activity to the screen.


Displays the command's usage.

-t [interval]

Specifies the interval, in seconds, at which the tool analyzes the
system. The possible values are between 1 and 100; the default is 5


Switches to verbose mode, including noting firings of the kernel
cyclic subsystem in the event report.


Example 1: Setting the Interval

The following command sets the interval to two seconds.

% powertop -t 2

Example 2: Analyzing and Dumping System Activity

The following command analyzes and dumps system activity to the standard
output four times.

% powertop -d 4

Example 3: Reporting Cyclic Subsystem Activity

The following command reports cyclic subsystem activity.

% powertop -v

Example 4: Analyzing Activity on a Specific Processor

The following command runs PowerTOP and only displays data for CPU 3:

% powertop -c 3



Successful operation.


An error occurred.


Incorrect usage.


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

|Architecture | x86, SPARC |
|Interface Stability | Volatile |


uadmin(2), libdevinfo(3LIB), cpr(4), pm(4D), attributes(7), xVM(7),
kstat(8), pmconfig(8), powerd(8), psrinfo(8), pm-components(9P),


You must have DTrace privileges to run PowerTOP and root (superuser)
privileges or assume the Primary Administrator role for the tool to
suggest improvements to the system.

May 13, 2017 POWERTOP(8)