Debugging EFL

The following is designed as a quick reference guide for debugging the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL); it is not exhaustive, and will require previous knowledge of programming and debugging tools.


You will need to build EFL, Enlightenment and any othe related software to be tested with debugging compile flags. The Get Source documentation will have section on this for your build environment. Remember to have -g as a CFLAGS option to ensure binaries and libraries have all the debug information required. If you didn't build with debugging, simply build again with these flags correctly set and debugging can begin.

EFL Logs

Sometimes you will see logs as follows:

CRI<10094>:elementary elm_toolbar.c:1453 _elm_toolbar_elm_widget_theme_apply() Failed to set layout!
*** Backtrace ***
/usr/local/lib/  0x7f8c2fc0be86 0x7f8c2fbea000
/usr/local/lib/  0x7f8c2fc0d1a9 0x7f8c2fbea000
/usr/local/lib/    0x7f8c3028c87d 0x7f8c30072000
/usr/local/lib/    0x7f8c302aa086 0x7f8c30072000
/usr/local/lib/    0x7f8c30288d58 0x7f8c30072000
/usr/local/lib/    0x7f8c3028618c 0x7f8c30072000
/usr/local/lib/    0x7f8c3028f087 0x7f8c30072000
/usr/local/bin/terminology   0x416d58 0x400000
/usr/local/lib/  0x7f8c2f3daca6 0x7f8c2f34a000
/usr/local/lib/    0x7f8c2e5ed37b 0x7f8c2e5e0000
/usr/local/lib/    0x7f8c2e5ebbcb 0x7f8c2e5e0000
/usr/local/lib/  0x7f8c2f3dceaa 0x7f8c2f34a000
/usr/local/lib/  0x7f8c2e87d5e1 0x7f8c2e7f8000
/usr/local/lib/  0x7f8c2e8837a7 0x7f8c2e7f8000
/usr/local/lib/  0x7f8c2e87e90f 0x7f8c2e7f8000
/usr/local/lib/  0x7f8c2e87eab7 0x7f8c2e7f8000
/usr/local/lib/     0x7f8c2f122d0b 0x7f8c2f110000
/usr/local/lib/     0x7f8c2f11d775 0x7f8c2f110000
/usr/local/lib/     0x7f8c2f1251f8 0x7f8c2f110000
/usr/local/lib/     0x7f8c2f1253d7 0x7f8c2f110000
/usr/local/bin/terminology   0x4138b7 0x400000
/usr/local/bin/terminology   0x40c74c 0x400000
/usr/lib/   0x7f8c2c675800 0x7f8c2c655000

This log shows EFL logging a critical error. There are various levels of error: critical, error, warning and debug are the main ones, but by default you should normally only see CRI (critical) and ERR error levels.

Following the error, which includes the name of the source file and the line number on which the error was encountered, is a full backtrace. This is not generally human readable, because making it so is relatively costly so is not done at runtime. A utility to parse the backtrace for readability is provided: eina_btlog. Simply do the following:

cat > mybacktrace.txt
# copy and paste the above lines following *** Backtrace *** that start with file paths
# now hit CTRL+D to end input
cat mybacktrace.txt | eina_btlog

This tool will output a colorized log, as below, that humans can easily read. This is the log a developer needs in order to identify the full path used to trigger the issue, with functions called from the bottom to the top of the stack - so the newest functions called are at the top of this log - and with file paths,line numbers, and even binary files listed.

/usr/local/lib/       |        /efl/src/lib/eina/eina_log.c           : 1875 @ eina_log_print_cb_stderr()
/usr/local/lib/       |        /efl/src/lib/eina/eina_log.c           : 1272 @ eina_log_print_unlocked()
/usr/local/lib/ |      /elementary/src/lib/elm_toolbar.c        : 1453 @ _elm_toolbar_elm_widget_theme_apply()
/usr/local/lib/ |      /elementary/src/lib/elm_widget.eo.c      :  451 @ elm_obj_widget_theme_apply()
/usr/local/lib/ |      /elementary/src/lib/elm_toolbar.c        : 2949 @ _elm_toolbar_icon_size_set()
/usr/local/lib/ |      /elementary/src/lib/elm_toolbar.eo.c     :   56 @ elm_obj_toolbar_icon_size_set()
/usr/local/lib/ |      /elementary/src/lib/elm_toolbar.eo.c     :  354 @ elm_toolbar_icon_size_set()
/usr/local/bin/terminology        |     /terminology/src/bin/options.c            :  156 @ options_toggle()
/usr/local/lib/       | /efl/src/lib/evas/canvas/evas_object_smart.c  :   67 @ _eo_evas_smart_cb()
/usr/local/lib/         |          /efl/src/lib/eo/eo_base_class.c      :  712 @ _eo_base_event_callback_call()
/usr/local/lib/         |          /efl/src/lib/eo/eo_base.eo.c         :   94 @ eo_event_callback_call()
/usr/local/lib/       | /efl/src/lib/evas/canvas/evas_object_smart.c  :  787 @ evas_object_smart_callback_call()
/usr/local/lib/       |        /efl/src/lib/edje/edje_match.c         :  557 @ edje_match_callback_exec_check_finals()
/usr/local/lib/       |        /efl/src/lib/edje/edje_program.c       : 1430 @ _edje_emit_cb()
/usr/local/lib/       |        /efl/src/lib/edje/edje_message_queue.c :  788 @ _edje_message_queue_process()
/usr/local/lib/       |        /efl/src/lib/edje/edje_message_queue.c :  155 @ _edje_job()
/usr/local/lib/      |       /efl/src/lib/ecore/ecore_job.c          :  123 @ _ecore_job_event_handler()
/usr/local/lib/      |       /efl/src/lib/ecore/ecore_private.h      :  308 @ _ecore_lock()
/usr/local/lib/      |       /efl/src/lib/ecore/ecore_main.c         : 1928 @ _ecore_main_loop_iterate_internal()
/usr/local/lib/      |       /efl/src/lib/ecore/ecore_main.c         :  983 @ ecore_main_loop_begin()
/usr/local/bin/terminology        |     /terminology/src/bin/main.c               :  933 @ elm_main()
/usr/local/bin/terminology        |     /terminology/src/bin/main.c               :  970 @ main()
      /usr/lib/          |                       ??/??                   :  970 @ __libc_start_main()

If you are working on EFL, writing apps that use EFL or just want to report these as a user, it is this resulting btlog that is most useful.

If you don't see these logs, set the following environment variable:


Error Logging

EFL uses a common method to log error messages called Eina_Log. With this you can tweak the verbosity of the logs simply by setting some environment variables.

Eina_Log introduces the concept of logging domains (or loggers), which might already be familiar to readers. It is basically a way to separate a set of log messages into a context (e.g. a module) and provide a way of controlling this set as a whole.

The level is used for controlling which messages should appear. It specifies the lowest level that should be displayed, i.e. a message with level 2 being logged on a domain with level set to 3 would be displayed while a message with level 4 wouldn't.

The available log levels are as follows:

Level Number Macro
Critical 0 EINA_LOG_CRIT()
Error 1 EINA_LOG_ERR()
Warning 2 EINA_LOG_WARN()
Debug 4 EINA_LOG_DBG()

To set the general log level you can use the EINA_LOG_LEVEL variable:


You can use a finer selection using the EINA_LOG_LEVELS variable:

EINA_LOG_LEVELS=module1:4,module2:2,module3:0 myapp

This line would set the logging level for module1 to 4, module2 to 2 and module3 to 0.


This will prevent eina_log from outputting internal eina code, thus allowing you to see your own domain messages more easily.

You may also want to enforce crashes when errors occur: ``EINA_ERROR_ABORT` will do this:

EINA_ERROR_ABORT=1 gdb myapp

This will now cause the program to abort when it encounters an error of the set level or above, allowing you to poke around with GDB and see why this is happening.

Debugging Tools

There are a range of tools available for debugging, the most common of which are introduced below.


In general you would use the GNU Debugger (GDB) as follows:

gdb myapp

You can also attach to a running process with:

gdb myapp PID

Where PID is the process ID of the myapp process you to which you are attaching and debugging.

On some systems, attaching via GDB is prohibited. To enable it, sue the following command:

sudo sysctl -w kernel.yama.ptrace_scope=0

GDB with Enlightenment

Enlightenment is special, because it already has something monitoring it for crashes: enlightenment_start. This means you can't attach GDB to it as normal. Enlightenment will produce a ~/.e-crashdump.txt log for every crash that happens through this monitor. If no ~/.e-crashdump.txt file is created, GDB attachment may be disabled; enable it using the following command:

sudo sysctl -w kernel.yama.ptrace_scope=0

When Enlightenment crashes it is automatically stopped and a "white box of death" is displayed on screen. The ~/.e-crashdump.txt file should have been appended with error details, but if you want to poke around manually you will need to attach GDB manually.

Switch to a text console with CTRL+ALT+F1 and log in, or use something like ssh to remotely log into your machine. Attach GDB to enlightenment by finding out the process ID of Enlightenment as shown below.

kill -SIGUSR1 "$(pidof enlightenment_start)"
gdb enlightenment "$(pidof enlightenment)"

If the above fails you must find the PIDs manually:

ps -auwx | grep enlightenment


pgrep enlightenment

Find two process IDs: one for the process enlightenment_start and one for the process enlightenment. When you have both process IDs you can attach GDB:

kill -SIGUSR1 {pid_of_enlightenment_start}
gdb enlightenment {pid_of_enlightenment}

Where {pid_of_enlightenment_start} and {pid_of_enlightenment} are the process IDs you found, e.g. 17455 and 17477. The GDB debugger will load, stream its initial output then load a debugging prompt. You can now proceed with debugging.

Logging GDB's Output

You can save a copy of your debugging session by typing the following into the GDB debugging prompt:

(gdb) set logging file {logfile.txt}
(gdb) set logging on

Where {logfile.txt} is the name of the file to which the log should be written.

Backtracing with GDB

Begin your debugging session with GDB's backtrace command:

(gdb) backtrace
#0  0xb7d539f8 in select () from /lib/tls/
#1  0xb7dff66a in _XEnq () from /usr/X11R6/lib/
#2  0xb7dffa7e in _XRead () from /usr/X11R6/lib/
#3  0xb7e01795 in _XReadEvents () from /usr/X11R6/lib/
#4  0xb7defa88 in XNextEvent () from /usr/X11R6/lib/
#5  0x0809b698 in e_alert_show (
    text=0x80a34f0 "This is very bad. Enlightenment has segfaulted.\nThis 
    is not meant to happen and is likely a 
    sign of a\nbug in Enlightenment
    or the libraries it relies on.\n\nYou can gdb attach to this process 
    now to try"...)
    at e_alert.c:136
#6  0x0808f706 in e_sigseg_act (x=11, info=0x80a9fb0, data=0x80aa030)
    at e_signals.c:54
#7  <signal handler called>
#8  0xb7d539f8 in select () from /lib/tls/
#9  0xb7f814ee in _ecore_main_select (timeout=0) 
    at ecore_main.c:338
#10 0xb7f819ba in _ecore_main_loop_iterate_internal (once_only=0)
    at ecore_main.c:575
#11 xb7f81a2b in ecore_main_loop_begin () at ecore_main.c:79
#12 0x08059bb3 in main (argc=1, argv=0xbffff144) at e_main.c:551

This is the stack trace. It shows the main() function called ecore_main_loop_begin(), which called _ecore_main_loop_iterate_internal(), this function called _ecore_main_select(), and that in turn called select() and so on.

It is important to understand that Enlightenment has its own segmentation fault (segfault) handler: it traps its own problems and tries to let you recover via the "white box of death" prompt. Look at the function that was called:

#6  0x0808f706 in e_sigseg_act (x=11, info=0x80a9fb0, data=0x80aa030)

The e_sigseg_act() function is called when the program segfaults. It is called directly by the kernel, interrupting anything Enlightenment was doing just before it was called. It's whatever Enlightenment was doing at that time which has caused the segfault. In this example Enlightenment segfaulted inside the select() function; frame 7 is an intermediate frame that calls the signal handler.

To gather some more information about this crash go to the stack frame just before the segfault - in this case, stack frame 8. To obtain more detail from this frame, use the following commands:

(gdb) frame 8
(gdb) list
(gdb) print ret

The first command, frame 8, moves to frame 8; the second command, list, lists the source code in the frame; print ret prints the value of ret.

In this example you can't debug select because it is in libc, and it is probably not the reason for the crash. Move to the frame above that, frame 9, to see if any nasty data was being sent to select:

(gdb) frame 9
#9  0xb7f814ee in _ecore_main_select (timeout=0) at ecore_main.c:338
338        ret = select(max_fd + 1, &rfds, &wfds, &exfds, t);
(gdb) list
333               }
334          }
335     #ifndef WIN32
336        if (_ecore_signal_count_get()) return -1;
337     #endif
338        ret = select(max_fd + 1, &rfds, &wfds, &exfds, t);
339        if (ret < 0)
340          {
341             if (errno == EINTR) return -1;
342          }

This listing includes both variables and function calls. Variables like pointers may contain garbage or NULL, and thus causing a "segv" error. Find out their values with the print command:

(gdb) print ret
$1 = -4
(gdb) print rfds
$2 = {__fds_bits = {1280, 0 <repeats 31 times>}}
(gdb) print wfds
$3 = {__fds_bits = {0 <repeats 32 times>}}
(gdb) print exfds
$4 = {__fds_bits = {0 <repeats 32 times>}}

Note that if the variable is a pointer the print command will print the pointer value. To see what the pointer is actually pointing to use:

print *{pointer}

Where {pointer} is the name of the pointer.

Backtracing Example

(gdb) frame 5
#5  0x0809b698 in e_alert_show (
    text=0x80a34f0 "This is very bad. Enlightenment has segfaulted.\nThis 
    is not meant to happen and is likely a sign of a\nbug in Enlightenment 
    or the libraries it relies on.\n\nYou can gdb attach to this process 
    now to try"...)
    at e_alert.c:136
136             XNextEvent(dd, &ev);
(gdb) list
131        XSync(dd, False);
133        button = 0;
134        for (; button == 0;)
135          {
136             XNextEvent(dd, &ev);
137             switch (ev.type)
138               {
139               case KeyPress:
140                  key = XKeysymToKeycode(dd, XStringToKeysym("F1")); 
(gdb) print dd
$5 = (Display *) 0x80d1018

Display * indicates a pointer to a "Display" struct or type. In this example the pointer value looks healthy, i.e. it is not 0x0 or a very low number. Look at the data it is pointing to:

(gdb) print *dd
$6 = <incomplete type>

That is xlib's display struct. It's private, so you can't see what's inside. This is unusual: all the types used by Enlightenment will generally allow you to see inside.

When reporting a bug, working through an issue with GDB and including it with a Phab ticket will prove extremely helpful. Even if you can't decode the output of a GDB session yourself, it provides valuable information for use in hunting down the precise cause of the issue.


Running Enlightenment through valgrind will allow you to debug memory-related issues. With an X Server running on your system, execute Enlightenment through valgrind with the following command:

valgrind --tool=memcheck --vgdb-error=0 enlightenment

If you are debugging an environment in which the window manager is corrupted or malfunctioning you will still need a working console session; the easiest way to achieve this is by connecting to the machine on test using a Secure Shell (SSH) session.

Running this way valgrind intercepts all memory operations, so it will make things very slow. The upside is that valgrind is extremely thorough, and can find a lot of issues that would be otherwise difficult to spot. When you get a problem valgrind will report on the issue then ask if you want to attach GDB. Sometimes Enlightenment may trigger a valgrind error on start-up, as follows:

==7072== Syscall param writev(vector[...]) points to uninitialised byte(s)
==7072==    at 0x1BC255E8: (within /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BAC66D6: (within /usr/X11R6/lib/
==7072==    by 0x1BAC6986: _X11TransWritev (in /usr/X11R6/lib/
==7072==    by 0x1BAAB03C: _XSend (in /usr/X11R6/lib/
==7072==    by 0x1BA9EA6B: (within /usr/X11R6/lib/
==7072==    by 0x1BA9F1D2: XPutImage (in /usr/X11R6/lib/
==7072==    by 0x1B957459: evas_software_x11_x_output_buffer_paste (evas_x_buffer.c:173)
==7072==    by 0x1B955FEA: evas_software_x11_outbuf_flush (evas_outbuf.c:327)
==7072==    by 0x1B953EB4: evas_engine_software_x11_output_flush (evas_engine.c:417)
==7072==    by 0x1B93A6A4: evas_render_updates (evas_render.c:298)
==7072==    by 0x1B9A0960: _ecore_evas_x_render (ecore_evas_x.c:173)
==7072==    by 0x1B9A1EF8: _ecore_evas_x_idle_enter (ecore_evas_x.c:825)
==7072==  Address 0x1ED603FC is 596 bytes inside a block of size 38912 allocd
==7072==    at 0x1B90459D: malloc (vg_replace_malloc.c:130)
==7072==    by 0x1B957200: evas_software_x11_x_output_buffer_new (evas_x_buffer.c:132)
==7072==    by 0x1B955224: evas_software_x11_outbuf_new_region_for_update (evas_outbuf.c:256)
==7072==   by0x1B953DDA:evas_engine_software_x11_output_redraws_next_update_get (evas_engine.c:394)
==7072==    by 0x1B93A355: evas_render_updates (evas_render.c:210)
==7072==    by 0x1B9A0960: _ecore_evas_x_render (ecore_evas_x.c:173)
==7072==    by 0x1B9A1EF8: _ecore_evas_x_idle_enter (ecore_evas_x.c:825)
==7072==    by 0x1B9725E3: _ecore_idle_enterer_call (ecore_idle_enterer.c:78)
==7072==    by 0x1B9746AE: _ecore_main_loop_iterate_internal (ecore_main.c:477)
==7072==    by 0x1B974A2A: ecore_main_loop_begin (ecore_main.c:79)
==7072==    by 0x8059BB2: main (e_main.c:551)
==7072== ---- Attach to debugger ? --- [Return/N/n/Y/y/C/c] ----

This is a harmless error which does not affect Enlightenment's operation. To ignore this error respond N (No), and Enlightenment will continue to load. Note that multi-headed systems may see the error additional times per attached display.

An additional harmless error may be reported when Enlightenment is shut down, as follows:

==7072== Invalid read of size 4
==7072==    at 0x1BB6B16C: (within /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BB6B58C: (within /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BBE6FF6: (within /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BC61422: (within /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BC61337: (within /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BC616C4: __libc_freeres (in /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1B8FEA08: _vgw(float, long double,...)(...)(long double,...)(short) (vg_intercept.c:55)
==7072==    by 0x1BB7F1C5: exit (in /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BB6997D: __libc_start_main (in /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x8058AE0: ??? (start.S:102)
==7072==  Address 0x1C7BFD98 is 8 bytes inside a block of size 60 free"d
==7072==    at 0x1B904B04: free (vg_replace_malloc.c:152)
==7072==    by 0x1BB6BD37: (within /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BC2A902: (within /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BC2A7A6: tdestroy (in /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BC611C1: (within /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BC616C4: __libc_freeres (in /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1B8FEA08: _vgw(float, long double,...)(...)(long double,...)(short) (vg_intercept.c:55)
==7072==    by 0x1BB7F1C5: exit (in /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x1BB6997D: __libc_start_main (in /lib/tls/
==7072==    by 0x8058AE0: ??? (start.S:102)
==7072== ---- Attach to debugger ? --- [Return/N/n/Y/y/C/c] ----

This error is caused by the internal debugging hooks in valgrind, and can again be safely ignored.

Any other error reported by valgrind is a likely candidate for a problem. When valgrind reports an error respond Y (Yes) to attach GDB; this will provide both valgrind and GDB information simultaneously.

Debugging a Window Manager with Valgrind

To debug a window manager issue using valgrind, you will need to create a fresh X Server:

sudo X -ac :1 &
export DISPLAY=:1
valgrind --tool=memcheck --vgdb-error=0 enlightenment

This command creates an empty X Server on display :1 and flips to it. To flip back to the original console use Ctrl + Alt + F1 (or the Function Key appropriate for your original TTY number).

Enlightenment runs extremely slowly under valgrind. Methodically work to reproduce the issue on test; when Enlightenment appears to "lock up" but the mouse remains responsive flip back to the text console running valgrind and see if it has reported an error.

Invoking Valgrind with Xephyr

To invoke valgrind with Xephyr, you will need to be running Bash 4. Begin by saving the following script as "desktop-xephyr" in your $PATH:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
if [[ -z "$@" ]]; then
    echo "You need to supply something to be started in Xephyr"
    exit 1
    local disp=0;
    while [ -e "/tmp/.X${disp}-lock" ]; do
        disp=$(( disp + 1 ));
    echo $disp
# Select display
# Start XServer
Xephyr -ac -screen 1600x900 -br 2> /dev/null :$display &
# Set display
export DISPLAY=:$display
# Wait for Xephyr to become ready
sleep 1
# Start window manager
bash -c "$@"
# Remove X lock
rm -fr /tmp/.X${display}-lock

Add the following script to your $PATH as "valgrind-xephyr":

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# Uncomment to use a separate home for debugging
#export HOME=/home/$USER/nobackup/HOME-$USER-debug
# Uncomment to enable core files
#limit -c unlimited
# Set log file
# Set the path to the Enlightenment installation
    export "$1=$2"
    if [[ $1 == "PATH" ]]; then
        #show head of PATH only
        echo "$1=${!1%%:*}: ... " | tee -a $log_file
        echo "$1=${!1}" | tee -a $log_file
# Start logging and set environment
echo "Enlightenment Valgrind Debugging Log: $(date +%F)" > $log_file
set_and_log LD_LIBRARY_PATH "$e17_install_path/lib"
set_and_log PATH            "$e17_install_path/bin:$PATH"
# Override enlightenment path autodetection
set_and_log E_PREFIX "$e17_install_path"
if [[ -n "$E_PREFIX" ]]; then
    set_and_log E_BIN_DIR    "$E_PREFIX/bin"
    set_and_log E_LIB_DIR    "$E_PREFIX/lib"
    set_and_log E_DATA_DIR   "$E_PREFIX/share/enlightenment"
    set_and_log E_LOCALE_DIR "$E_PREFIX/share/locale"
# Build valgrind command
valgrind_a="--tool=memcheck --vgdb-error=0 --num-callers=32"
valgrind_b="--show-reachable=no --read-var-info=yes --leak-check=full"
valgrind_c="--leak-resolution=high --undef-value-errors=yes"
valgrind_d="--track-origins=yes --trace-children=yes"
valgrind="exec valgrind $valgrind_a $valgrind_b $valgrind_c $valgrind_d"
# Call the frist script
desktop-xephyr "$valgrind $e17_install_path/bin/enlightenment_start 2>&1 | tee -a $log_file"

Run the second script to load a debugging session.

Valgrind Invocation with Xinit

Create a file called "xinitrc-debug" in your home directory with the following contents:

ulimit -c unlimited
# Path of the Enlightenment installation
# Set variables
# Log to a file
echo "Using installation at $e17_install_path"
echo "LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH" >  $log_file
echo "PATH=$e17_install_path/bin: ... " >> $log_file
# Start Enlightenment with valgrind
exec valgrind --tool=memcheck --vgdb-error=0 --num-callers=32 \
         --show-reachable=no --read-var-info=yes --leak-check=full \
         --leak-resolution=high --undef-value-errors=yes \
         --track-origins=yes --trace-children=yes \
         $e17_install_path/bin/enlightenment_start 2>&1 | tee -a "$log_file"

Begin a debugging session with the following command:

/usr/bin/xinit ~/xinitrc-debug -- :1 -nolisten tcp


perf is a tool for Linux which can help you identify performance bottlenecks. This is also a part of debugging: to find where CPU time is being spent and perhaps answer why things are slow. Probably the most useful and simplest way to use perf is with perf top as follows:

sudo perf top

You will get something like top but for functions instead of processes:

Samples: 11K of event 'cycles', Event count (approx.): 401331122 [z]
Overhead  Shared Object             Symbol
  35.91%        [.] _evas_common_scale_rgba_in_to_out_clip_smooth_mmx
   9.60%        [.] _op_copy_p_dp_mmx
   7.29%        [.] _op_blend_p_dp_mmx
   2.59%        [.] _op_copy_c_dp_mmx
   1.90%        [.] _op_blend_pas_dp_sse3
   0.94%  [kernel]                  [k] clear_page_c
   0.74%        [.] evas_common_rgba_image_scalecache_items_ref
   0.67%  [kernel]                  [k] shmem_getpage_gfp
   0.65%          [.] _eo_do_start
   0.63%        [.] evas_render_updates_internal
   0.63%          [.] _eo_call_resolve
   0.57%  [kernel]                  [k] page_fault
   0.54%              [.] malloc_consolidate
   0.52%  [kernel]                  [k] unmapped_area_topdown
   0.51%              [.] _int_malloc
   0.45%        [.] eina_hash_find_by_hash
   0.43%        [.] pthread_spin_trylock
   0.42%  [kernel]                  [k] mem_cgroup_begin_page_stat
   0.39%        [.] evas_common_tilebuf_get_render_rects
   0.39%        [.] evas_common_scale_rgba_sample_draw
   0.37%        [.] evas_object_image_render
   0.34%  [kernel]                  [k] unmap_single_vma
   0.33%          [.] _eo_base_event_callback_call
   0.33%        [.] _evas_common_scalecache_key_cmp
   0.31%          [.] eo_data_scope_get
   0.30%  [kernel]                  [k] _raw_spin_lock
   0.29%  [kernel]                  [k] __wake_up_bit
   0.29%  [kernel]                  [k] get_page_from_freelist
   0.28%        [.] _eina_chained_mempool_alloc_in
   0.27%        [.] evas_render_mapped
   0.26%  [vdso]                    [.] __vdso_gettimeofday
   0.26%  [kernel]                  [k] __rmqueue
   0.26%        [.] eina_log_print
   0.26%                 [.] _find_xob.constprop.3
   0.24%          [.] _eo_do_end
   0.23%        [.] pthread_mutex_lock
   0.23%  [kernel]                  [k] find_vma
   0.22%        [.] eina_chained_mempool_free
   0.22%              [.] malloc
   0.22%  [kernel]                  [k] __radix_tree_create
   0.22%        [.] eina_evlog
   0.21%              [.] _int_free

Here you can see almost 34% of CPU execution time is spent in the _evas_common_scale_rgba_in_to_out_clip_smooth_mmx function from the library. You can narrow down to a specific process, which is generally most useful, with:

sudo perf top -p PID

And ensure that every sample clears previous sample history (like top does):

sudo perf top -p PID -z

And also try higher sample frequencies (the higher the sample frequency the better the accuracy):

sudo perf top -p PID -z -F 50000


strace is a tool to trace all the system calls a process does. This will intercept and log every interaction with a kernel via a system call. Sometimes this is very useful to find out what is going on. You can run a process under strace as follows:

strace myapp

You can also attach to an existing process with:

strace -p PID

Be aware that as with attaching GDB, this may be not allowed by your kernel. If so, enable it with the following command:

sudo sysctl -w kernel.yama.ptrace_scope=0

If you're debugging Enlightenment there already is a process attached - enlightenment_start and you will need to tell it to stop monitoring:

kill -SIGUSR1 PID_OF_enlightenment_start

You will then be able to attach with strace. Some useful ways of using strace are as follows:

Write the strace log to a specific file for the process ID PID:

strace -o logfile.txt -p PID

Write the strace log to a specific file and put a timestamp next to every system call for process ID PID:

strace -o logfile.txt -tt -p PID

Write the strace log to a specific file and time how long every system call takes, to find calls that take too long and slow things down:

strace -o logfile.txt -ttt myapp

You can combine the above options. See the strace manual page for more details with man strace.

Reporting bugs

If you have encountered a bug and would like to help by reporting it please follow our Reporting Bugs guidelines.