Sep 20 – 24, 2021
US/Pacific timezone

LTTng as a fast system call tracer

Sep 22, 2021, 9:00 AM
Microconference1/Virtual-Room (LPC Virtual)


LPC Virtual

Tracing MC Tracing MC


Mathieu Desnoyers (EfficiOS Inc.)


Upstreaming the LTTng kernel tracer [1] (originally created in 2005) into the Linux kernel has been a long-term goal of the LTTng project.

Today, various tracing technologies are available in the Linux kernel: instrumentation with tracepoints, kprobes, kretprobes, function tracing, performance counters through perf, as well as user-visible ABIs, namely Ftrace, Perf, and eBPF. There are however areas in which the LTTng kernel tracer has unique capabilities which other tracers lack.

Efficiently tracing system call entry/exit while fetching system call input/output parameters from user-space is a use-case the LTTng kernel tracer can cover, thanks to its ring buffer design which allows preemption.

Discuss the challenges and establish a roadmap towards upstreaming the pieces of the LTTng kernel tracer required to trace system calls into the Linux kernel.


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Primary author

Mathieu Desnoyers (EfficiOS Inc.)

Presentation materials

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