Chapter 1 About DTrace

DTrace provides dynamic tracing, which is the ability to instrument a running operating system kernel.

DTrace enables you to associate actions, such as collecting or printing stack traces, function arguments, timestamps, and statistical aggregates, with probes, which can be runtime events or source-code locations. The D language is powerful, yet simple. DTrace is dynamic, has low overhead, and is safe to use on production systems. It enables you to examine the behavior of user programs and the operating system, to understand how your system works, to track down performance problems, and to locate the causes of aberrant behavior.

DTrace is a kernel framework that dynamically traces data into buffers that are read by consumers. On Oracle Linux, you will probably only use one consumer, the dtrace command-line utility, which contains the D language that grants you full access to the framework's power.

This guide is largely a reference manual. For information about how to use DTrace and step-by-step examples, see the Oracle Linux DTrace Tutorial .