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Parca Agent is an always-on sampling profiler that uses eBPF to capture raw profiling data with very low overhead. It observes user-space, and kernel-space stack traces 100 times per second and builds pprof formatted profiles from the extracted data. For in-depth detail and explanation refer to the the Parca Agent Design documentation.

The collected data can be viewed locally via HTTP endpoints and optionally be configured to be sent to a Parca server, where it can be queried and analyzed over time.

It discovers targets to profile through:

  • Kubernetes: Discovering containers on the Kubernetes node the Parca agent is running on.
  • systemd: Discovering systemd units on the node the Parca agent is running on.

Target discovery mechanisms can be combined so that both systemd units as well as Kubernetes containers are discovered and automatically profiled.


  • Linux Kernel version 4.18+
  • A source of targets to discover from Kubernetes or systemd.

Supported Profiles

Profiles available for compiled languages (e.g. C, C++, Go, Rust):

  • CPU
  • Soon: network usage, memory allocations

Runtime-specific information, such as Goroutines, requires manual instrumentation.


You can find a tutorial for each of the target discovery mechanisms below (each of these also contain a Parca server setup):


See Troubleshooting Parca Agent.