DTrace

DTrace GUI FAQ

Welcome to the DTrace GUI Frequently Asked Questions page.

What is the DTrace GUI?

The DTrace GUI plug-in is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for DTrace , and can be installed into the Oracle Solaris Studio IDE, Sun Studio IDE, or NetBeans IDE.

You can run D scripts from the GUI, even those that are embedded in shell scripts. In fact, the DTrace GUI plug-in runs all of the D scripts that are packaged in the DTraceToolkit. The DTraceToolkit is a collection of useful documented scripts developed by the OpenSolaris DTrace community.

You can visualize the output of DTrace using Chime. Chime is a graphical tool for visualizing DTrace aggregations. In particular, its ability to display data over time adds a missing dimension to system observability. Chime is fully integrated with DTrace GUI Plug-in.

What are the benefits of the DTrace GUI?

  • The DTrace GUI leverages the extensive work that has been done in the OpenSolaris.org community. Specifically, it takes advantage of the DTraceToolkit and Chime projects.
  • The DTrace GUI also works with Sun Studio IDE and Oracle Solaris Studio IDE.
  • Facilitates developers to use DTrace in conjunction with Sun Studio tools, Oracle Solaris Studio tools, or the NetBeans IDE.
  • Users are not forced to learn D language before using DTrace. They can simply use D scripts that are written by other developers.
  • Users benefit from the full functionality of DTrace. The DTrace GUI does not impose any restrictions on how D scripts should be written by users.
  • Users can visualize the output of DTrace by using Chime. Chime is fully integrated with DTrace GUI Plug-in.
  • Chime can display data over time and can generate line graphs, bar charts, and stack traces.
  • Users can create new Chime displays from the existing D scripts that are shipped with DTrace GUI plug-in.
  • Drilldown lets you answer questions about values of interest.
  • One of the most useful feature of Chime is the ability to record data about the application and the system itself while DTrace is running.
  • Also, the recorded data can be played back at a later time to diagnose the cause of failure or performance degradation. The recorded data can be sent to other users who have access to the DTrace GUI Plug-in or Chime for further investigation.
  • Users can query for the list of available Providers (the name of the DTrace Kernel module that provides the instrumentation to enable the probe), Modules (kernel modules or user libraries), Functions, or Names using the List Probes window.
  • The DTrace GUI Plug-in provides a framework that can be easily extended to include other tools.
  • Users can easily create and add a new D script to the DTrace GUI.

Where to download DTrace GUI?

The DTrace GUI Plugin is available for download from http://plugins.netbeans.org.

What is the current architecture?

The DTrace GUI plug-in is architected in such a way that you can easily extend and customize it.

The GUI package consists of two components: The NetBeans plug-in (includes Chime) and the DTraceScripts directory.

  • The DTrace GUI plug-in can be easily installed into the Sun Studio IDE, Oracle Solaris Studio IDE, or NetBeans IDE.
  • The DTraceScripts directory contains several subdirectories. Each subdirectory contains several D scripts. The D scripts are categorized mostly based on DTrace providers. You can copy a new D script to an existing subdirectory from the shell command line, you can copy it into a newly created subdirectory in the DTraceScripts directory. You can also create and save a new D script from within the IDE. Chime displays are included in the DTraceScripts directory.

What new features need to be implemented?

  • The remote capability needs to be added to the DTrace GUI. With remote capability, D scripts will be run remotely on a Solaris system from a client machine. The client machine can be a Windows, Linux, or Solaris system. The output of D scripts will be sent to the client system for further investigation by the user.
  • A new DTrace editor needs to be implemented for the D language. Basically, we need to implement the code completion, code folding, and syntax checking.
  • Use your imagination to propose a new feature or enhance an existing one.

What is the status of open-sourcing the DTrace GUI?

The OSR# 7723 is approved for open-sourcing the DTrace GUI plug-in with Chime.

DTrace GUI Documentation

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