The apptrace utility does not require any modification of the application being traced. To use apptrace, type apptrace, followed by any desired options along with the command line used to run the application of interest. The apptrace utility works by using the link-auditing capability of the runtime linker to intercept the application's calls to Solaris library interfaces. The apptrace utility then traces the calls by printing the names and values of the call's arguments and return value. The tracing output can be on a single line or arranged across multiple lines for readability. Public interfaces are printed in human-readable form. Private interfaces are printed in hexadecimal.
The apptrace utility enables selective tracing of calls, both at the level of individual interfaces and the level of libraries. For example, apptrace can trace calls to printf() coming from libnsl, or a range of calls within a specific library. The apptrace utility can also verbosely trace user-specified calls. The specifications that dictate apptrace behavior are governed by a syntax that is consistent with the usage of truss(1). The -f option directs apptrace to follow forked child processes. The -o option specifies an output file for apptrace results.
The apptrace utility traces only library-level calls and is loaded into the running application process, gaining a performance increase over truss. With the exception of printf, apptrace cannot trace calls to functions that accept variable argument lists or examine the stack or other caller information, for example, setcontext, getcontext, setjmp, longjmp, and vfork.