How can you profile a script?

Project Euler and other coding contests often have a maximum time to run or people boast of how fast their particular solution runs. With python, sometimes the approaches are somewhat kludgey - i.e., adding timing code to main .

What is a good way to profile how long a python program takes to run?




Answer

Python includes a profiler called cProfile. It not only gives the total running time, but also times each function separately, and tells you how many times each function was called, making it easy to determine where you should make optimizations.

You can call it from within your code, or from the interpreter, like this:

import cProfile
cProfile.run('foo()')

Even more usefully, you can invoke the cProfile when running a script:

python -m cProfile myscript.py

To make it even easier, I made a little batch file called ‘profile.bat’:

python -m cProfile %1

So all I have to do is run:

profile euler048.py

And I get this:

1007 function calls in 0.061 CPU seconds

Ordered by: standard name
ncalls  tottime  percall  cumtime  percall filename:lineno(function)
    1    0.000    0.000    0.061    0.061 <string>:1(<module>)
 1000    0.051    0.000    0.051    0.000 euler048.py:2(<lambda>)
    1    0.005    0.005    0.061    0.061 euler048.py:2(<module>)
    1    0.000    0.000    0.061    0.061 {execfile}
    1    0.002    0.002    0.053    0.053 {map}
    1    0.000    0.000    0.000    0.000 {method 'disable' of '_lsprof.Profiler objects}
    1    0.000    0.000    0.000    0.000 {range}
    1    0.003    0.003    0.003    0.003 {sum}

EDIT: Updated link to a good video resource from PyCon 2013 titled Python Profiling .