Solaris Dynamic Tracing Guide

Creating SDT Probes

If you are a device driver developer, you might be interested in creating your own SDT probes in your Solaris driver. The disabled probe effect of SDT is essentially the cost of several no-operation machine instructions. You are therefore encouraged to add SDT probes to your device drivers as needed. Unless these probes negatively affect performance, you can leave them in your shipping code.

Declaring Probes

SDT probes are declared using the DTRACE_PROBE, DTRACE_PROBE1, DTRACE_PROBE2, DTRACE_PROBE3 and DTRACE_PROBE4 macros from <sys/sdt.h>. The module name and function name of an SDT-based probe corresponds to the kernel module and function of the probe. The name of the probe depends on the name given in the DTRACE_PROBEn macro. If the name contains no two consecutive underbars (__), the name of the probe is as written in the macro. If the name contains any two consecutive underbars, the probe name converts the consecutive underbars to a single dash (-). For example, if a DTRACE_PROBE macro specifies transaction__start, the SDT probe will be named transaction-start. This substitution allows C code to provide macro names that are not valid C identifiers without specifying a string.

DTrace includes the kernel module name and function name as part of the tuple identifying a probe, so you do not need to include this information in the probe name to prevent name space collisions. You can use the command dtrace -l -P sdt -m module on your driver module to list the probes you have installed and the full names that will be seen by users of DTrace.

Probe Arguments

The arguments for each SDT probe are the arguments specified in the corresponding DTRACE_PROBEn macro reference. The number of arguments depends on which macro was used to create the probe: DTRACE_PROBE1 specifies one argument, DTRACE_PROBE2 specifies two arguments, and so on. When declaring your SDT probes, you can minimize their disabled probe effect by not dereferencing pointers and not loading from global variables in the probe arguments. Both pointer dereferencing and global variable loading may be done safely in D actions that enable probes, so DTrace users can request these actions only when they are needed.