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Python package to record activity from processes

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psrecord is a small utility that uses the psutil library to record the CPU and memory activity of a process. The package is still under development and is therefore experimental.

The code is released under a Simplified BSD License, which is given in the LICENSE file.


  • Python 2.7 or 3.3 and higher

  • psutil 1.0 or later

  • matplotlib (optional, used for plotting)


To install, simply do:

pip install psrecord

To install with the optional plotting dependencies, do:

pip install psrecord[plot]



To record the CPU and memory activity of an existing process to a file (use sudo for a root process):

psrecord 1330 --log activity.txt

where 1330 is an example of a process ID which you can find with ps or top. You can also use psrecord to start up a process by specifying the command in quotes:

psrecord "hyperion model.rtin model.rtout" --log activity.txt


To make a plot of the activity:

psrecord 1330 --plot plot.png

This will produce a plot such as:

You can combine these options to write the activity to a file and make a plot at the same time:

psrecord 1330 --log activity.txt --plot plot.png

Duration and intervals

By default, the monitoring will continue until the process is stopped. You can also specify a maximum duration in seconds:

psrecord 1330 --log activity.txt --duration 10

Finally, the process is polled as often as possible by default, but it is possible to set the time between samples in seconds:

psrecord 1330 --log activity.txt --interval 2


To include sub-processes in the CPU and memory stats, use:

psrecord 1330 --log activity.txt --include-children

Running tests

To run tests, you will need pytest. You can install it with:

pip install pytest

You can then run the tests with:

pytest psrecord

Reporting issues

Please report any issues in the issue tracker.

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