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DTrace is a performance analysis and troubleshooting tool included by default with various operating systems, including illumos, Solaris, Mac OS X and FreeBSD. A Linux port is in development.

DTrace instruments all software.

Not just user-level software, including applications, databases and webservers, but also the operating system kernel and device drivers. The name is short for Dynamic Tracing: an instrumentation technique pioneered by DTrace which dynamically patches live running instructions with instrumentation code. The DTrace facility also supports Static Tracing: where user-friendly trace points are added to code and compiled-in before deployment.

DTrace provides a language, 'D', for writing DTrace scripts and one-liners. The language is like C and awk, and provides powerful ways to filter and summarize data in-kernel before passing to user-land. This is an important feature that enables DTrace to be used in performance-sensitive production environments, as it can greatly reduce the overhead of gathering and presenting data. ...more

There is also a pony.

DTrace for Beginners

More DTrace


Videos on DTrace

dtrace.conf Videos

For a good overview and wrap-up, see Adam's blog post on dtrace.conf.

State of the Union - video Bryan Cantrill
Setting the Agenda - video  
User-Level CTF - video Adam Leventhal
Dynamic Translators - video Dave Pacheco
Control flow & language enhancements - video Eric Schrock
Carousel ride!  
Clang Parser for DTrace - video John Thompson
Visualizations - video Brendan Gregg
Visualizations, Enabling toolchain for seamless USDT - video Theo Schlossnagle
Visualizations - video
Richard Elling
DTrace in node.js - video Mark Cavage
User-land probes for Erlang virtual machine - video Scott Lystig Fritchie
DTrace on Linux - video Kris Van Hees
ZFS DTrace provider Matt Ahrens
DTrace on FreeBSD - video Ryan Stone
Barriers to Adoption - video Jarod Jenson

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