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I recently came across a blog post highlighting powertop for Linux (see: Based on the FAQ, powertop relies on the fact that the Linux kernel is now tickless. Given a specific Linux kernel requirement, I am doubtful that it will work with the Darwin kernel. Freshmeat also mentions powertop, but they have a tag suggesting that a POSIX compliant OS can use powertop. Since FreeBSD is POSIX compliant, I was wondering if anyone had tried powertop on Snow Leopard ?

If not, does anyone know of similar, power profiling tools for Snow Leopard ? Specifically, power profiling tools that highlight processes consuming power.



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How is this different than "CPU Time" in top or Activity Monitor (assuming all apps are started at roughly the same wall-clock time)? – user588 Feb 24 '11 at 2:35
@mankoff - CPU time only shows the amount of time consumed by the process. This does not translate into the actual amount of power used by the process. – Scott Davies Feb 24 '11 at 3:42

Using dtrace and counting which processes wake and the reason and time, you might be able to get some of the information provided by powertop

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Thanks for your reply! DTrace is of use from a sysadmin standpoint, not just as an instrumentation tool for application development ? – Scott Davies May 25 '11 at 5:22
DTrace can indeed be tremendeously useful for sysadmin purposes. It is a rather complex tool, however. And I find the lack of documentation for the OS X implementation frustrating. While the language itself is the same across operating systems, the set of available probes is quite different. – Harald Hanche-Olsen May 25 '11 at 6:39
Thanks Harald! I saw a book recently, just on DTrace that covered it on other UNIX's and Mac OS. I may pick it up - it included coverage of the D language. – Scott Davies May 30 '11 at 7:43
Could you add an example about how to do that? – Albert Sep 23 '11 at 19:09

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