Canonical Looking At Including Performance Tools In Ubuntu 24.04 By Default

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 7 March 2024 at 04:45 PM EST. 34 Comments
A proposal has been laid out by Canonical engineers to include various performance tooling in Ubuntu 24.04 LTS by default to help in those trying to squeeze out greater performance gains out of their hardware/software and/or debugging/profiling issues. The proposal wants to "make Ubuntu absolutely great for performance engineers" but would mean somewhat significant size increases to the Ubuntu desktop and server ISOs.

Following frame pointers by default and other improvements being made to Ubuntu 24.04 LTS to enhance the performance and profiling capabilities of this Linux distribution, a proposal was posted today to the Ubuntu Discourse to "Include Performance tooling in Ubuntu". The specification was authored by Canonical engineers and while carrying a creation date of mid-December was just publicly posted today to the Ubuntu Discourse. The proposal is to "include performance and profiling tooling by default on Ubuntu 24.04 (classic, not core)...In talking about what we could do in Ubuntu 24.04 to make Ubuntu absolutely great for performance engineers, a key suggestion was to include this tooling by default."

A set of packages would be installed by default on all relevant systems running Ubuntu 24.04 LTS. Among the packages to be provided would be bpfcc-tools, bpftrace, trace-cmd, sysroute, iproute2, and others. A "performance-tools" metapackage would also be provided on Ubuntu 24.04 LTS to manage the easy installation of all common packages for debugging performance and reliability issues.

In increasing the number of packages being installed, the size obviously goes up. Adding bpfcc-tools alone increases the ISO image size by 43MB and the install size by 206MB while also having bpftrace increases the Ubuntu image size by another 80MB and the install size by 367MB. Those BPF tools are among the biggest impact while many of the packages are less than 1MB.

Ubuntu performance tooling bloat

While I'm crazy about Linux performance and all for more performance-related work happening, I'm a bit surprised by this proposal myself with wanting to have these packages installed by default... After all, most performance engineers should be well aware of how to install the desired packages of their preferred tooling with ease. I doubt many Ubuntu users especially on the desktop are commonly using bpfcc-tools and bpftrace that it's justified to increase the Ubuntu 24.04 images by over 120MB and the install size by over a half GB, not to mention the increase in bandwidth if delivering stable updates down for these packages that may well go unused by most Ubuntu users. To "make Ubuntu absolutely great for performance engineers" I would hardly consider it having these tools installed by default for everyone making things "absolutely great" but at least I do welcome their emphasis in recent months in particular for trying to better Ubuntu's performance and being more developer-friendly.

In any event those curious about the proposal to include performance tooling by default in Ubuntu can find it under [Spec] Include Performance tooling in Ubuntu.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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