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New Ways to Find Latency in Linux Using Tracing

Ftrace is the official tracer of the Linux kernel. It originated from the real-time patch (now known as PREEMPT_RT), as developing an operating system for real-time use requires deep insight and transparency of the happenings of the kernel. Not only was tracing useful for debugging, but it was critical for finding areas in the kernel that was causing unbounded latency. It’s no wonder why the ftrace infrastructure has a lot of tooling for seeking out latency. Ftrace was introduced into mainline Linux in 2008, and several talks have been done on how to utilize its tracing features. But a lot has happened in the past few years that makes the tooling for finding latency much simpler. Other talks at P99 will discuss the new ftrace tracers “osnoise” and “timerlat”, but this talk will focus more on the new flexible and dynamic aspects of ftrace that facilitates finding latency issues which are more specific to your needs. Some of this work may still be in a proof of concept stage, but this talk will give you the advantage of knowing what tools will be available to you in the coming year.

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Steven Rostedt

Steven Rostedt, Open Source Engineer at VMware

Steven Rostedt currently works for VMware in their Open Source Technology Center. He's the maintainer of the PREEMPT_RT (aka Real Time patch) stable releases. He is also one of the original developers for the Real Time patch. Steven is the main developer and maintainer for ftrace, the official tracer of the Linux kernel, as well as the user space tools trace-cmd and kernelshark. He also develops ktest.pl (in the kernel) and was the creator of "make localmodconfig".

P99 CONF OCT. 6-7, 2021

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