After seeing some discussion about Kernel Tracing tools in the recent Linux Kernel Summit…I found this great tech-talk.

Dtrace is like ‘TiVo for the Kernel’ … its been included in FreeBSD and Solaris, but Linux is unlikely to embed it directly due to the incompatibility of the GPL with Dtrace’s licence.

Great Dtrace google talk video by one of the developers Bryan Cantrell [his blog here]…

Hilarious discussion of seeing into all the abstract layered levels that is software, nice demo tracing into both kernel and user space programs.

At the end he talks a while about how to view into scripting languages – normally you’d just see rbeval [for ruby] or the JVM implementation – but he decribes how to extend further to Dtrace into scripting Environments.   Superb!

He makes some frank comments about the political situation of porting Dtrace to Linux.

Perhaps solution is to make a clean room GPL  impl from the external API.. watch this space.

Whats immediately apparent from this talk is how useful Dtrace is for developers and sysadmins.

[ fyi, Im working on an ‘attolisp’ scripting implementation for vfuncs.. hmm.. now how to instrument it?  Can you believe nanolisp, picolisp and femtolisp project names were taken! what an embarrassment of riches! :]