Upcoming SystemTap Features

A few new SystemTap features that have been eagerly awaited were vetted in Fedora and are likely set to start appearing in upcoming RedHat releases:

  • A revamped security model that allows for probing by non root-users, without compromising security. An example of why this is useful is detailed in the linked readme.
  • Basic support for user-space probing. A probe can be placed at a location specified by PID and virtual address, and the normal range of tapset features are available for user-space probes.
  • The crash utility (for analyzing dump data) can use the staplog extension to retrieve the SystemTap relay buffer from a kernel dump image.  Seems like a useful feature when tracking a bug that causes a kernel crash.

If you are interested in more information, I previously wrote about a real-world use of SystemTap, and about how to use kernel markers in SystemTap. Of course, there are lots of other sample scripts on the SystemTap wiki.


One comment

  1. Michael,

    thanks for the info on SystemTap. Would you be willing to email me about writing something up for the Linux Foundation site? Will you be at the LF collab summit in Austin?

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