Earlier this year, it became known that the original Dtrace analysis tool created by Sun – thanks to a license change by the owner Oracle – could also come on Linux. Long-time former Sun and Oracle employee Brendan Gregg, who now works at Netflix, points out in his blog the release of Bpftrace, which he calls “Dtrace 2.0”.
The now available application Bpftrace describes Gregg as a kind of better successor to Dtrace. The new software not only has more capabilities than Dtrace, but has also been built from the ground up with modern techniques such as the eBPF-VM. EBPF is an almost universally applicable virtual machine (VM) in the Linux kernel itself, which emerged from the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF).
The work on eBPF and techniques based on it has been done for several years, also with the collaboration of the developer Gregg. In addition to the VM, for example, the BPF compiler collection (BCC) with associated run-time libraries is being created, which, among other things, should allow porting of Dtrace tools. Bpftrace is a “complementary extension” that offers “a high-level language for one-line and short scripts”.
Bpftrace has progressed so far that all Gregg’s Dtrace in-line machines now work with the new application, which the developer calls a “milestone”. In addition Gregg counts on his blog still some further functions, which would like to implement the Bpftrace involved team still, as well as numerous further details to the technology.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht