How to configure an alternate temporary scratch directory for VTune Amplifier XE on Linux

Product: Intel® VTune™ Amplifier XE 2011
Version: Update 8 and above
Operating System: Linux
Shell: Bourne compatible


When performing Intel® VTune™ Amplifier XE hardware event-based sampling collection, such as Lightweight Hotspots analysis, temporary data files are written to the system global temporary directory. Typically the global temporary directory is /tmp. Depending on the length of the VTune Amplifier XE analysis and data collected, significant temporary disk space may be required. The temporary data may exceed the current allocated or available global temporary storage space.


If the system global temporary space is exceeded, the VTune Amplifier XE analysis will fail. The failure may manifest itself in a warning similar to the following:

Warning: Cannot load data file `/home/user/r001hs/data.0/tbs0123456789.tb6' (tbrw call…..) failed: Invalid sample file (24).

Note that the VTune Amplifier XE temporary files may no longer be in the temporary storage location, giving you the false impression that there is plenty of space available. In this case, you may wish to check the temporary storage usage while the analysis is running. If usage of system temporary storage reaches 100%, then this may be the root cause of the error.


If the cause of the error is insufficient temporary disk space, then one possible solution may be to set the standard Linux TMPDIR environment variable to an alternate directory path with sufficient temporary storage space.
To configure the TMPDIR environment variable, follow the simple steps outlined below.

  1. From within the shell where you will be running the VTune Amplifier XE command line or GUI, assign a value and export TMPDIR. For example, run the command similar to the following:
    export TMPDIR=/directory_path/ tmp
  2. Verify the assignment.
    echo $TMPDIR
  3. Verify directory permissions are sufficient for the directory assigned to TMPDIR.
    ls -ld /directory_path/ tmp
  4. From the shell window, run the VTune Amplifier XE Hardware event-based sampling collection using either the command line or GUI. A command line may look similar to the following:
    amplxe-cl -collect lightweight-hotspots <your_application>

    Alternately, start the VTune Amplifier XE GUI by executing amplxe-gui in the shell window and proceed with the analysis.
A few of the Intel® VTune™ Amplifier XE scratch files of insignificant size will still continue to be written to the system global temporary directory, for example, the socket file with a filename similar to “sep_ipc_socket_0”. However, the VTune Amplifier XE will utilize the defined TMPDIR location for the larger files such as those beginning with “lwp”. These may include files with names similar to “lwp28478__wallclock.tb5”, “lwp28478_user.mrk”, “lwp28478_7.txt”, and so forth. When the VTune Amplifier XE analysis has completed finalization, all temporary scratch files will be automatically removed.
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