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DTrace exists to help you figure out how the system works and why the system is sluggish or acting in an unexpected manner. The name is short for Dynamic Tracing: a powerful idea pioneered by DTrace. Dynamic tracing allows one to *peer into all parts of the system* \-\- kernel, device drivers, libraries, services, web servers, applications, databases - without any restarts, recompilations,or overhead. DTrace is a powerful tool in any programmer's toolkit, and has been included by default with various operating systems including Illumos, Solaris, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, and QNX. A Linux port is in development.
There is also a [pony|http://dtrace.org/blogs/about/dtracepony/].