Add -fauto-profile option to Clang driver

Kaelyn Uhrain rikka at
Tue Oct 22 14:53:37 PDT 2013

On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 2:28 PM, Diego Novillo <dnovillo at> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 5:06 PM, Chandler Carruth <chandlerc at>
> wrote:
> >
> > On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 1:58 PM, Bob Wilson <bob.wilson at>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> I really like GCC's -fprofile-generate and -fprofile-use, except I don't
> >> think we should reuse those names for something that works differently.
>  My
> >> overall preference would be something like this (using those names as
> >> placeholders):
> >>
> >> -fprofile-generate=<instrumentation-style>
> >> -fprofile-use=<profile-style>
> >>
> >> e.g., "-fprofile-use=auto".  That would at least unify the new options.
> >> In fact, we may even be able to reuse those option names with
> -fprofile-use
> >> being a synonym for -fprofile-use=gcc, which matches gcc's option.  I'm
> not
> >> at all familiar with how that option actually works in gcc, so I can't
> say
> >> whether that would make sense.
> >
> >
> > I don't think we can re-use '-fprofile-use' in a way different from GCC
> > here. GCC accepts it as "-fprofile-use=/path/..." and i could call my
> > profile file "auto" or "gcc" or "clang" and expect it to work.
> >
> > I think it is best for instrumentation-based profiling to use
> > '-fprofile-generate' and '-fprofile-use' just like GCC does, if with
> > different file formats, etc.
> Agreed.
> > I don't see in flags in upstream GCC regarding sample-driven profiling,
> but
> > "auto" I think is actively harmful in the name. There is nothing
> > intrinsically automatic about it. It is "external" in the sense that it
> > isn't from compiled-in instrumentation, but I don't see any reason for
> > "auto" to indicate that to the user.
> GCC (well the Google branch now) uses -fauto-profile for the
> sample-driven profiling. The external profiler actually generates a
> gcov file.  The two options -fprofile-generate and -fprofile-use are
> strictly for instrumentation based profiling.  Our internal users are
> already using -fauto-profile in their builds.
> Dehao (CCd) tells me that the option was initially named
> -fsample-profile, but they then renamed it to -fauto-profile.
> > I think for now, we should put this functionality behind a specific flag
> > whose name is indicative of the user's expected behavior. The best idea
> I've
> > seen is "-fsample-profile=/path/..." but I'd love to hear better
> > suggestions.
> I don't really have better names.  -fsample-profile and -fauto-profile
> are both the same to me.  The name -fauto-profile has the slight
> advantage that it can serve as a more general flag name, with the
> actual profiling style automatically detected by the format of the
> input file. But, I don't really care all that much.
> Having said that, I can also see -fprofile-use=filename being smart
> enough to know what type of profile it's getting by examining the
> signature of "filename".  This is contemplated in my LLVM patch.  The
> pass instantiates a different reader according to the type of file it
> detects (right now it does nothing of the sort, however).

My $0.02 having just read the recent discussion: particularly if/when
-fprofile-use=filename is smart enough to detect the type of profile,
instead of having -f*-profile options like -fsample-profile, perhaps
-fprofile-type=<kind> (e.g. -fprofile-type=sample, -fprofile-type=gcc,
etc--or -fprofile-kind=<kind> instead of -fprofile-type) where the type
defaults to GCC style... or later to whatever -fprofile-use= guesses the
file's format to be. It also gives pretty good symmetry to
-fprofile-generate= and -fprofile-use=


> Diego.
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