DTrace Alternatives

    DTrace is described as 'performance analysd troubleshooting tool that is included by default with various operating systems, including Solaris, Mac OS X and FreeBSD. A Linux port is in development' and is an app in the Development category. There are seven alternatives to DTrace for Linux, BSD, FreeBSD and Mac. The best alternative is ftrace, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like DTrace are strace (Free, Open Source), ltrace (Free, Open Source), perf (Free, Open Source) and ktrace (Free, Open Source).

    This page was last updated Feb 13, 2019

    1. Ftrace is an internal tracer designed to find what is going on inside the kernel. It can be used for debugging or analyzing latencies and performance issues that take place outside of user-space.
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      • FreeOpen Source
      • Linux
      • BSD
      • FreeBSD
      strace is a diagnostic, debugging and instructional userspace utility for Linux. It is used to monitor interactions between processes and the Linux kernel, which include system calls, signal deliveries, and changes of process state.


      • FreeOpen Source
      • Linux
      • BSD
      • FreeBSD
      ltrace intercepts and records dynamic library calls which are called by an executed process and the signals received by that process. It can also intercept and print the system calls executed by the program. Used for debugging.
    2. perf is a performance analyzing tool in Linux, available from Linux kernel version 2.6.31 under tools/perf, and is frequently updated and enhanced. It is capable of lightweight profiling, supports hardware performance counters, tracepoints, software performance counters (e.g.
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      • FreeOpen Source
      • Mac
      • BSD
      • FreeBSD
      The ktrace utility enables kernel trace logging for the specified processes. Kernel trace data is logged to the file ktrace.out. The kernel operations that are traced include system calls, namei translations, signal processing, and I/O.
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      • FreeOpen Source
      • Linux
      SystemTap provides free software (GPL) infrastructure to simplify the gathering of information about the running Linux system. This assists diagnosis of a performance or functional problem.
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    3. ktap is a script-based dynamic tracing tool for Linux. It uses a scripting language and lets users trace the Linux kernel dynamically.
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