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SubjectRe: [RFC] Tracepoint proposal
On Sun, Jun 22, 2008 at 02:27:05PM -0400, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> * Alexey Dobriyan (adobriyan@gmail.com) wrote:
> > On Sun, Jun 22, 2008 at 01:11:35PM -0400, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> > > Tracepoint proposal
> > >
> > > - Tracepoint infrastructure
> > > - In-kernel users
> > > - Complete typing, verified by the compiler
> > > - Dynamically linked and activated
> > >
> > > - Marker infrastructure
> > > - Exported API to userland
> > > - Basic types only
> > >
> > > - Dynamic vs static
> > > - In-kernel probes are dynamically linked, dynamically activated, connected to
> > > tracepoints. Type verification is done at compile-time. Those in-kernel
> > > probes can be a probe extracting the information to put in a marker or a
> > > specific in-kernel tracer such as ftrace.
> > > - Information sinks (LTTng, SystemTAP) are dynamically connected to the
> > > markers inserted in the probes and are dynamically activated.
> > >
> > > - Near instrumentation site vs in a separate tracer module
> > >
> > > A probe module, only if provided with the kernel tree, could connect to internal
> > > tracing sites. This argues for keeping the tracepoing probes near the
> > > instrumentation site code. However, if a tracer is general purpose and exports
> > > typing information to userspace through some mechanism, it should only export
> > > the "basic type" information and could be therefore shipped outside of the
> > > kernel tree.
> > >
> > > In-kernel probes should be integrated to the kernel tree. They would be close to
> > > the instrumented kernel code and would translate between the in-kernel
> > > instrumentation and the "basic type" exports. Other in-kernel probes could
> > > provide a different output (statistics available through debugfs for instance).
> > > ftrace falls into this category.
> > >
> > > Generic or specialized information "sinks" (LTTng, systemtap) could be connected
> > > to the markers put in tracepoint probes to extract the information to userspace.
> > > They would extract both typing information and the per-tracepoint execution
> > > information to userspace.
> > >
> > > Therefore, the code would look like :
> > >
> > > kernel/sched.c:
> > >
> > > #include "sched-trace.h"
> > >
> > > schedule()
> > > {
> > > ...
> > > trace_sched_switch(prev, next);
> > > ...
> > > }
> >
> > Once this is accepted you're going to add hundreds of such calls to every
> > core subsystem, right?
> >
>
> The LTTng instrumentation has about 125 of such calls. Tests have
> revealed that adding such dormant tracepoints to the kernel often
> increase kernel performances rather than decreasing it (see the ia64
> benchmarks posted on lkml a few weeks ago).

We're not adding this for performance increase, you do realize this?

> The core subsystem maintainers are being involved in the process.

NAK this from proc if you about this.

> Actually, marking up the source code has the interesting effect of
> letting knowledgeable people influence the trace point decisions.

I'd say that maximum source code overhead any tracing facility should be
allowed is "__xxx" annotation at very start of function definition.
Anything beyond should be rejected and there are good reasons for that.



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