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DTrace: Dynamic Tracing in Oracle Solaris, Mac OS X and FreeBSD 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0132091510
ISBN-10: 0132091518
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The first guide to DTrace: the breakthrough debugging tool for Mac OS X, Unix, Solaris, and OpenSolaris operating systems and applications
  • Complete coverage: architecture, implementation, components, usage, and much more
  • Covers integrating DTrace into open source code, and integrating probes into application software
  • Includes full chapter of advanced tips and techniques
  • For users of DTrace on all platforms
  • Foreword by Bryan Cantril, creator of DTrace
  • DTrace represents a revolution in debugging. Using it, administrators, developers, and service personnel can dynamically instrument operating systems and applications to quickly ask and answer virtually any question about how their operating systems or user programs are behaving. Now available for Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD, thousands of professionals are discovering DTrace - but, until now, there's been no comprehensive, authoritative guide to using it. This book fills that gap. Written by four key contributors to the DTrace community, it's the first single source reference to this powerful new technology. The authors cover everything technical professionals need to know to succeed with DTrace, regardless of the operating system or application they want to instrument. The book also includes a full chapter of advanced tips and techniques.

    About the Author

    Brendan Gregg is a performance specialist at Joyent and is known worldwide in the field of DTrace. Brendan created and developed the DTraceToolkit and is the coauthor of SolarisTM Performance and Tools (Prentice Hall, 2006) as well as numerous articles about DTrace. Many of Brendan's DTrace scripts are shipped by default in Mac OS X.

     

    Jim Mauro is a senior software engineer for Oracle Corporation, working in the Systems group with a primary focus on systems performance. Jim has 30 years of experience in the computer industry and coauthored SolarisTM Performance and Tools and the first and second editions of SolarisTM Internals (Sun Microsystems Press, 2000, and Prentice Hall, 2006).

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    Product Details

    • Series: Oracle Solaris
    • Paperback: 1152 pages
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (April 11, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0132091518
    • ISBN-13: 978-0132091510
    • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.6 x 9 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
    • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: Paperback
    Its finally here, the great masterpiece. This books completes what "Solaris Performance & Tools" started. This new book focuses entirely on DTrace and is really several books rolled into one.

    Part I gives you a complete DTrace Textbook. It breaks down the language and introduces you all the foundational concepts. It is brisk and every concept has an example making it extremely accessable.

    Part II is the combination of several runbooks and a collection of cookbooks. For CPU, I/O, network, etc there is the same methodical systematic approach to exposing problems that we got in "Performance & Tools" but vastly expanded. After hitting all the fundamental resources it breaks down into various programming languages, databases, applications and daemons.

    The true value of this book is here in Part II. You may know that you have a certain kind of problem, and you know that DTrace can probly find it for you, but you don't know where to start and in what order to proceed. If you do it on your own you may quickly find yourself overwhelmed and lost in the labyrinth that is the Solaris kernel. This is why the methodical approach Jim and Brendan take is so important, you really don't need to know anything more than you need to dig into some broad problem and the text leads you down the path of elimination and analysis step-by-step.

    Part III hits tools, tips, and security. Learn how to spy on users, audit activity, use Apple Instruments or DTrace in NetBeans and lots more. Chapter 13 on tools is a great way to learn about all those tools out there that you may have heard of but aren't familiar with, or even introduce you to new toys you didn't know existed.

    But thats not all...
    Read more ›
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    Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    This is a good way to get started using DTrace on Solaris or FreeBSD. (I haven't tried the Linux version.) The book does a good job describing the overall structure of a DTrace script, including providers, probes, conditions, and actions. It also has a number of good examples, although perhaps 25% of the example no longer work because DTrace is evolving rapidly. That DTrace has rapidly evolved beyond what it was when this book was publish is the reason the book gets 4 stars instead of 5.

    The book is well worth the purchase as a learning tool albeit less useful as a reference.
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    Format: Paperback
    B Rockwood provides an excellent review of the book and there is not much to add beyond that. If you are interested in the state-of-the-art of system analysis / performance analysis and the DTrace tool that provides unprecedented levels of information available in these areas, then this is a must-have book. Highly recommended!
    Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Paperback
    Any jobbing performance analyst, system administrator or developer who wishes to move to the next level should get this book and write their name on it in thick marker - or else it will walk.
    Although the book is aimed at the professional, the student and teacher of operating systems are also firmly in its sights. Expect this book to appear on CS courses, twinned with the appropriate - MacOS X, BSD or Solaris, Internals book. The latter not un-coincidentally comes from the hand of one of the co-authors of this work.
    There is sufficient introductory material in here that the reader can grasp the language of Dtrace without Reading The Fine Manuals but the real value of this text lies in the examples and especially the one-liners. Anyone who has read the original AWK book - an old masterpiece that crescendos from workaday one-line tools to complete compilers and graph generators - will have the flavor of this work. Each OS subsystem is examined in turn by way of one-liner triage and then subjected to more involved analysis.
    The other great strength of the book is that it dispels the myth that Dtrace is just for systems folks and not application developers. There are several chapters dealing with the inspection of running applications - both those for which you have the source and those you don't. The words "hackers bible" never passed my lips ;-)
    Its evident from reading it that this book was a work of passion for its authors, distilled from their daily concerns as systems performance experts and evangelists. I am grateful they have spread the Good News.
    Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Paperback
    The last book I tried to use while at my computer was the first edition of the O'Reilly behemoth UNIX Power Tools, a small phone book in both page count and page quality. Working through a very large book of very many items front to back, as I did, might seem like a fool's errand. But Power Tools was, and in its third edition must still be, a tirelessly, relentlessly cross-referenced work. I was impressed by the vigor and care its contributors applied to relate so many points of information to each other. Moreover, I was struck by the implication that I could follow suit. It was a breath of encouragement I was grateful to receive, as I wanted to grow into power user status myself. It was also a gift I think about paying forward when I teach. Like when someone again runs off with my current copy, but in a way that doesn't stress the trust I place in my colleagues.

    This book on DTrace, a technology for tracing process and operating system behavior, is also quite thick, and filled with many bits of information, hard-won from examining many dark areas of system and process code. The book is, in turns, a meandering journal, a breathless mash-up of contributions, a collection of clipped, man page-style narratives, and a dry series of code and output blocks the authors sometimes deem self-evident. Some clues, such as an oft-repeated warning that the fbt provider is unstable, suggest the book was built by force of compilation alone, with little interest in supporting a read-through, much less a systematic view of the content.

    It is however a formidable cache, quite possibly including every DTrace program of general consequence written in the last few years.
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