Chapter 1. Introduction

Table of Contents

1.1. Obtaining and installing PerfCake
1.1.1. Downloading distribution
1.1.2. Building distribution
1.1.3. Minimal requirements
1.1.4. Installing PerfCake
1.1.5. Running PerfCake
1.2. Your first performance test
1.2.1. First out-of-the box demo with
1.2.2. Your own quickstart
Preparing PerfCake
Configure and run
Evaluate results

Here we would like to smoothly introduce you PerfCake - the lightweight performance testing tool and a load generator with the aim to be minimalistic, easy to use, provide stable results, have minimum influence on the measured system, be platform independent, use component design, allow high throughput.

First, we show you how to obtain PerfCake, run it and create your first performance test.

Then we introduce some core features of PerfCake as an application and how to configure it. This is useful for further integration in your testing environment.

More details and practical test scenarios and use cases will be described in a separate chapter. Its content will be created over time, for now we can suggest you to follow us on Twitter and see recordings of our talks.

The most comprehensive part for now is the Reference Guide where you can find details about configuration of individual components of PerfCake.

1.1. Obtaining and installing PerfCake

So let's get our hands on PerfCake and start creating our first performance test.

1.1.1. Downloading distribution

The best way to obtain a complete distribution of PerfCake is at There you can find the latest stable binary release in multiple formats.

We assume that you already have Java installed. For the best performance of PerfCake, we need to ask you to install Java Development Kit (JDK) as we compile some classes dynamically during test execution. This cannot be done just with Java Runtime Environment (JRE). We also do not provide distributions with Java included in them. There are two simple reasons - first, you are likely to already have one, second, we do not have enough time to maintain and test such distributions.

If you are brave enough, you can even try our nightly builds from

We try not to commit broken code and the nightly builds contain all the newest features. However, there are no guarantees and the features are usually not yet documented. You would need to have a look in the source code to be able to fully use them.

Once you have downloaded your favourite build file, you can just uncompress (unzip, untar...) it in a directory you like. This is your complete installation and the location is further referenced as $PERFCAKE_HOME.

1.1.2. Building distribution

Another option is to build your own distribution from source code. PerfCake is written in Java and the project lifecycle is managed by Maven. If you are familiar with these technologies, you can find more information on using the Maven goals in the Developers' Guide.

1.1.3. Minimal requirements

As was mentioned in Section 1.1.1, “Downloading distribution” , the main requirement is having Java Development Kit version 8 installed in your environment. In case you have troubles installing Java, please search some tutorials on installing JDK on your operating system on YouTube. There are plenty of useful videos on this topic.

Other requirements on the hardware depend on what you expect from PerfCake. The memory and CPU power demands depand mainly on your performance scenario.

Up to our knowledge all components of PerfCake work offline without an Internet connection. This is our intent, please report a bug should you have different findings.

1.1.4. Installing PerfCake

There is no extra step required to install PerfCake. As long as you have unpacked the downloaded distribution, the installation is complete.

1.1.5. Running PerfCake

There are multiple ways of running PerfCake. In the case you have just donwloaded and unpacked the binary distribution, you can find a shell script and a Windows bat script in the $PERFCAKE_HOME/bin directory. These are executables that can find your JDK and run PerfCake properly. The scripts were tested on Linux, Windows and MacOS (in this case, some command line tweaking might be necessary).


Windows users should be running perfcake.bat from the old Command shell and avoid using PowerShell. Another way is to run PerfCake with the following command in PowerShell:

cmd /c perfcake.bat

It might be also necessary to place some parameters in double quotes. Like the following:



Some MacOS installations of Java might have a preconfigured directory with Java libraries that are pre-loaded with each Java application. These libraries can interfere with PerfCake libraries resulting in failure to start PerfCake and are placed under /Library/Java/Extensions/ directory.

Move the libraries to some other temporary directory to be able to run PerfCake.

In case of building from the source code, please refer to the Developers' Guide for more instructions. Basically, the easiest way is to create the binary distribution from source code and follow the usual steps. It is also possible to run PerfCake directly by invoking the java command but this needs to take care of the classpath configuration.

It is also possible to run PerfCake using a Maven plugin or its API. These ways are described either in the Developers' Guide or will be presented in Chapter 3, General Usage .

You can verify your installation by invoking the following command in the $PERFCAKE_HOME directory. This uses a 3rd party HTTP test server, so try not to over-use it. Please note that you need to be online for this to work.

$ ./bin/ -s http

Typical output of this command is:

2015-09-22 18:35:51,774 INFO  {org.perfcake.ScenarioExecution} === Welcome to PerfCake 7.5 ===
2015-09-22 18:35:52,109 INFO  {org.perfcake.scenario.ScenarioBuilder} Scenario configuration: file:/home/perfcake/perfcake-7.5/resources/scenarios/http.xml
2015-09-22 18:35:52,175 INFO  {org.perfcake.util.TimerBenchmark} Benchmarking system timer resolution...
2015-09-22 18:35:52,176 INFO  {org.perfcake.util.TimerBenchmark} This system is able to differentiate up to 296ns. A single thread is now able to measure maximum of 3378378 iterations/second.
2015-09-22 18:35:52,254 INFO  {org.perfcake.message.generator.DefaultMessageGenerator} Starting to generate...
[0:00:01][705 iterations][5%] [520.564841647836 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:02][1274 iterations][8%] [543.478973435464 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:03][1864 iterations][12%] [554.858934169279 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:05][2702 iterations][17%] [558.7941704931123 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:06][3259 iterations][20%] [556.9051580698836 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:07][4102 iterations][25%] [558.5885486018642 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:08][4640 iterations][28%] [555.9863705792504 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:10][5479 iterations][33%] [555.9884127459794 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:11][6056 iterations][37%] [557.3011260443153 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:12][6844 iterations][42%] [554.6675191815857 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:13][7422 iterations][45%] [555.9091245467328 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:15][8251 iterations][50%] [555.2521148338107 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:16][8794 iterations][53%] [554.5147995503934 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:17][9653 iterations][58%] [556.0123329907502 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:18][10187 iterations][62%] [555.1464631365413 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:20][11067 iterations][67%] [556.8823382463153 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:21][11646 iterations][70%] [558.2889227255424 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:22][12513 iterations][75%] [559.6908864807248 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:24][13377 iterations][80%] [560.5196319273848 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:25][13952 iterations][83%] [561.1783986888915 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:26][14795 iterations][88%] [561.2248746087415 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:27][15363 iterations][92%] [561.705065775129 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:29][16243 iterations][97%] [562.9609208077745 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
[0:00:30][16812 iterations][100%] [562.8103856281039 iterations/s] [Threads => 100] [warmUp => false]
2015-09-22 18:36:22,256 INFO  {org.perfcake.message.generator.DefaultMessageGenerator} Reached test end. All messages were prepared to be sent.
2015-09-22 18:36:22,257 INFO  {org.perfcake.reporting.ReportManager} Reporting final results:
2015-09-22 18:36:22,258 INFO  {org.perfcake.message.generator.DefaultMessageGenerator} Shutting down execution...
2015-09-22 18:36:22,421 INFO  {org.perfcake.ScenarioExecution} === Goodbye! ===

For more details on running perfcake from a command line see Section 2.3.1, “Command line parameters”