Profiling JAX programs
Profiling JAX programs#
TensorBoard’s profiler can be used to profile JAX programs. Tensorboard is a great way to acquire and visualize performance traces and profiles of your program, including activity on GPU and TPU. The end result looks something like this:
The TensorBoard profiler is only available with the version of TensorBoard bundled with TensorFlow.
pip install tensorflow tbp-nightly
If you already have TensorFlow installed, you only need to install the
tbp-nightly pip package. Be careful to only install one version of TensorFlow
or TensorBoard, otherwise you may encounter the “duplicate plugins” error
incompatible with TensorBoard’s experimental fast data loading logic. This
should be resolved with
tensorboard-plugin-profile==2.5.0 when it’s
released. These instructions were tested with
You can instrument your code to capture a profiler trace via the
start_trace() with the directory to write
trace files to. This should be the same
--logdir directory used to start
TensorBoard. Then, you can use TensorBoard to view the traces.
For example, to take a profiler trace:
import jax jax.profiler.start_trace("/tmp/tensorboard") # Run the operations to be profiled key = jax.random.PRNGKey(0) x = jax.random.normal(key, (5000, 5000)) y = x @ x y.block_until_ready() jax.profiler.stop_trace()
block_until_ready() call. We use this to make sure on-device
execution is captured by the trace. See Asynchronous dispatch for details on why
this is necessary.
You can also use the
jax.profiler.trace() context manager as an
import jax with jax.profiler.trace(): key = jax.random.PRNGKey(0) x = jax.random.normal(key, (5000, 5000)) y = x @ x y.block_until_ready()
To view the trace, first start TensorBoard if you haven’t already:
$ tensorboard --logdir=/tmp/tensorboard [...] Serving TensorBoard on localhost; to expose to the network, use a proxy or pass --bind_all TensorBoard 2.5.0 at http://localhost:6006/ (Press CTRL+C to quit)
You should be able to load TensorBoard at http://localhost:6006/ in this
example. You can specify a different port with the
--port flag. See
Profiling on a remote machine below if running JAX on a remote server.
Then, either select “Profile” in the upper-right dropdown menu, or go directly to http://localhost:6006/#profile. Available traces appear in the “Runs” dropdown menu on the left. Select the run you’re interested in, and then under “Tools”, select “trace_viewer”. You should now see a timeline of the execution. You can use the WASD keys to navigate the trace, and click or drag to select events to see more details at the bottom. See these TensorFlow docs for more details on using the trace viewer.
Manual capture via TensorBoard#
The following are instructions for capturing a manually-triggered N-second trace from a running program.
Start a TensorBoard server:
tensorboard --logdir /tmp/tensorboard/
In the Python program or process you’d like to profile, add the following somewhere near the beginning:
import jax.profiler server = jax.profiler.start_server(9999)
This starts the profiler server that TensorBoard connects to. The profiler server must be running before you move on to the next step. It will remain alive and listening until the object returned by
If you’d like to profile a snippet of a long-running program (e.g. a long training loop), you can put this at the beginning of the program and start your program as usual. If you’d like to profile a short program (e.g. a microbenchmark), one option is to start the profiler server in an IPython shell, and run the short program with
%runafter starting the capture in the next step. Another option is to start the profiler server at the beginning of the program and use
time.sleep()to give you enough time to start the capture.
Open http://localhost:6006/#profile, and click the “CAPTURE PROFILE” button in the upper left. Enter “localhost:9999” as the profile service URL (this is the address of the profiler server you started in the previous step). Enter the number of milliseconds you’d like to profile for, and click “CAPTURE”.
If the code you’d like to profile isn’t already running (e.g. if you started the profiler server in a Python shell), run it while the capture is running.
After the capture finishes, TensorBoard should automatically refresh. (Not all of the TensorBoard profiling features are hooked up with JAX, so it may initially look like nothing was captured.) On the left under “Tools”, select “trace_viewer”.
You should now see a timeline of the execution. You can use the WASD keys to navigate the trace, and click or drag to select events to see more details at the bottom. See these TensorFlow docs for more details on using the trace viewer.
Adding custom trace events#
By default, the events in the trace viewer are mostly low-level internal JAX
functions. You can add your own events and functions by using
Programs running on GPU should produce traces for the GPU streams near the top of the trace viewer. If you’re only seeing the host traces, check your program logs and/or output for the following error messages.
If you get an error like:
Could not load dynamic library 'libcupti.so.10.1'
W external/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/stream_executor/platform/default/dso_loader.cc:55] Could not load dynamic library 'libcupti.so.10.1'; dlerror: libcupti.so.10.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory 2020-06-12 13:19:59.822799: E external/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/core/profiler/internal/gpu/cupti_tracer.cc:1422] function cupti_interface_->Subscribe( &subscriber_, (CUpti_CallbackFunc)ApiCallback, this)failed with error CUPTI could not be loaded or symbol could not be found.
Add the path to
libcupti.so to the environment variable
locate libcupti.so to find the path.) For example:
If you still get the
Could not load dynamic library message after doing this,
check if the GPU trace shows up in the trace viewer anyway. This message
sometimes occurs even when everything is working, since it looks for the
libcupti library in multiple places.
If you get an error like:
failed with error CUPTI_ERROR_INSUFFICIENT_PRIVILEGES
E external/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/core/profiler/internal/gpu/cupti_tracer.cc:1445] function cupti_interface_->EnableCallback( 0 , subscriber_, CUPTI_CB_DOMAIN_DRIVER_API, cbid)failed with error CUPTI_ERROR_INSUFFICIENT_PRIVILEGES 2020-06-12 14:31:54.097791: E external/org_tensorflow/tensorflow/core/profiler/internal/gpu/cupti_tracer.cc:1487] function cupti_interface_->ActivityDisable(activity)failed with error CUPTI_ERROR_NOT_INITIALIZED
Run the following commands (note this requires a reboot):
echo 'options nvidia "NVreg_RestrictProfilingToAdminUsers=0"' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-kernel-common.conf sudo update-initramfs -u sudo reboot now
See NVIDIA’s documentation on this error for more information.
Profiling on a remote machine#
If the JAX program you’d like to profile is running on a remote machine, one option is to run all the instructions above on the remote machine (in particular, start the TensorBoard server on the remote machine), then use SSH local port forwarding to access the TensorBoard web UI from your local machine. Use the following SSH command to forward the default TensorBoard port 6006 from the local to the remote machine:
ssh -L 6006:localhost:6006 <remote server address>
Profiling on a Cloud TPU VM#
Cloud TPU VMs come with a special version of TensorFlow pre-installed, so
there’s no need to explicitly install it, and doing so can cause TensorFlow to
stop working on TPU. Just
pip install tbp-nightly.
Multiple TensorBoard installs#
If starting TensorBoard fails with an error like:
ValueError: Duplicate plugins for name projector
It’s often because there are two versions of TensorBoard and/or TensorFlow
installed (e.g. the
pip packages all include TensorBoard). Uninstalling a single pip package can
result in the
tensorboard executable being removed which is then hard to
replace, so it may be necessary to uninstall everything and reinstall a single
pip uninstall tensorflow tf-nightly tensorboard tb-nightly pip install tensorflow