Webinar On Demand

Tracing With Ftrace: Critical Tooling For Linux Development

Recorded June 4, 2021

View Tracing with Ftrace: Critical Tooling for Linux Development with Steven Rostedt, Open Source Engineer at VMware.

Ftrace is the internal kernel infrastructure on how to connect callbacks to almost every function in the Linux kernel. The name “ftrace” also refers to a broader tracing infrastructure that implements not only function tracing, but trace events, dynamic events (from kprobes and uprobes), histograms, and many other tracers. The control of this tracing infrastructure is through the “tracefs” file system. The tracefs file system contains many files and directories all used to enable/disable tracing and retrieve its results.

This session will describe the various aspects of this tracing infrastructure, how tracefs is used and new libraries that exist to make it easier for any application to have access to the ftrace tracing infrastructure.

The session will begin with an overview by Steven Rostedt (45 minutes) and followed by Q&A.

Steven Rostedt

Open Source Engineer VMware


Steven has been working on the Linux kernel since 1998 (started while working on his masters). He has been working on the Linux kernel professionally since 2001. Steven is one of the original developers of the PREEMPT_RT patch which turns Linux into a true real-time operating system. Steven is also the original developer and current maintainer of Ftrace (the official tracer of the Linux kernel). Steven created an open source user space tool to interact with Ftrace called trace-cmd, and a GUI for that tool called KernelShark. Steven is now leading a development to facilitate the ability of applications to access and control the tracing infrastructure via libraries. Steven has given talks all over the world on various aspects of Linux. He is part of the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board, and on the Linux Plumbers Program Committee. Currently Steven works for VMware as an Open Source Engineer, promoting Open Source both inside and outside the company.