Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Activity Monitor will show you how much CPU time the current instances of each process have taken. I want an app that will show the total CPU time all instances of each process have taken, so I can (for instance) see what's draining my MacBook's battery the most on average.

If this exists, I can't find it. Does it exist?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You'll want sa and accton commands to dump accounting information to a file.

Here's an article that's a bit old. The perl script at the end works well - look out for * characters in the shell - those might need to get filtered or the input sanitized if the perl script doesn't show you totals.

share|improve this answer
Gehhh. I don't mind occasional command-line stuff, and I can script a tiny bit, but generating and parsing log files does not sound like my idea of a good time, particularly for something that matters as relatively little as this. Thanks for your answer, though; if my need should ever grow greater I will certainly return here to start down the rabbit hole. – 75th Trombone Jul 24 '11 at 0:15
Indeed - it's not friendly. Some day, some developer might make a nicer tool that runs in a window. As bad as this is, it's the only tool I'm aware of that attempts to sum the small accounting times to get a bigger view. – bmike Jul 24 '11 at 13:48

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.