While DTrace prospects for the Linux kernel are no longer viewed as magical or groundbreaking as they once were more than a decade ago, Oracle continues to work on its DTrace port to Linux and extending its reach beyond just their “Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel” for their RHEL-cloned Oracle Linux. Oracle now says they are working towards upstreaming more work as well as getting an eBPF-based implementation for the kernel.
On Wednesday, Oracle published a blog post outlining DTrace on Fedora. Getting DTrace working on Fedora isn’t trivial: currently it requires building a patched version of the Linux kernel and also building the DTrace user-space utilities. That’s how it currently is for most or all Linux distributions besides Oracle Linux with UEK.
Though written in the blog post is, “Note that at the moment, Oracle is in the process of upstreaming DTrace-related work and reimplementing DTrace itself on top of existing kernel infrastructure such as eBPF. (More on this in future blogs.)“
That’s certainly interesting and we are curious to see what comes of that reported effort. In the past few months we have seen Oracle working on an eBPF back-end to GCC as well to complement the existing LLVM support. Posted on Wednesday as well were the latest eBPF support patches for GCC to target this in-kernel virtual machine.
We’ll see what comes of this DTrace work for Linux but we’re not holding our breath.
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