DTrace for Linux
Yesterday (October 4, 2011) Oracle made the surprising announcement that they would be porting some key Solaris features, DTrace and Zones…
Yesterday (October 4, 2011) Oracle made the surprising announcement that they would be porting some key Solaris features, DTrace and Zones, to Oracle Enterprise Linux. As one of the original authors, the news about DTrace was particularly interesting to me, so I started digging. I should note that this isn't the first time I've written about DTrace for Linux. Back in 2005, I worked on Linux-branded Zones, Solaris containers that contained a Linux user environment. I wrote a coyly-titled blog post about examining Linux applications using DTrace. The subject was honest -- we used precisely the same techniques to bring the benefits of DTrace to Linux applications -- but the title wasn't completely accurate. That wasn't exactly "DTrace for Linux", it was more precisely "The Linux user-land for Solaris where users can reap the benefits of DTrace"; I chose the snappier title. I also wrote about DTrace knockoffs in 2007 to examine the Linux counter-effort. While the project is still in development, it hasn't achieved the functionality or traction of DTrace. Suggesting that Linux was inferior brought out the usual NIH reactions which led me to write a subsequent blog post about a theoretical port of DTrace to Linux. While a year laterPaul Fox started exactly such a port, my assumption at the time was that the primary copyright holder of DTrace wouldn't be the one porting DTrace to Linux. Now that Oracle is claiming a port, the calculus may change a bit.