[Ksummit-2008-discuss] DTrace

Theodore Tso tytso at mit.edu
Fri Jun 27 18:14:15 PDT 2008

On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 03:05:35PM -0500, James Bottomley wrote:
> > 
> > Do you really expect system administrators to use this tool? 
> No, but I expect most people doing reasonable debugging of the kernel to
> know what it means ... certainly anyone trying to tune their kernel to
> this level.

Right, and that's the problem.  DTrace is being marketing to system
administrators, because in Solaris you don't have to be Open Solaris
kernel wizard to use DTrace.  (Which is a good thing, given how few
community kernel developer Open Solaris has; nearly all of the kernel
development is done by paid Sun engineers.)

So to the extent that SystemTap can't do this thing that DTrace does
quite well, it really can't be marketed as a replacement or equivalent
of DTrace; it simply isn't right now.

> Adding a framework on to systemtap to help those with less intimate
> knowledge of the kernel get something out of it is a different problem,
> I think.

Yet it is a problem which DTrace is far ahead of us in terms of

Right now Systemtap is still struggling with the "make it easy for a
random kernel developer to install with a minimum of pain" problem....

       	      		   	   	  	  - Ted

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