Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Aug 2007 15:42 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "Last week at OSCON someone set up a whiteboard with the heading 'Tools We Wish We Had'. People added entries (wiki-style); this one in particular caught my eye: 'dtrace for Linux, or something similar'. So what exactly were they asking for? "
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We'll help
by bgregg on Sat 4th Aug 2007 04:15 UTC
Member since:

G'Day - I'm the "Brendan Gregg" who Adam referred to in his blog entry. I've used DTrace heavily since early 2004, including authoring most of the scripts in the DTraceToolkit. Several months ago I joined Sun.

I do feel sorry for the Linux end users. Before I joined Sun I did use Linux (and Solaris), and frequently worked with Linux professionals. I know how they feel (and I felt).

DTrace was publically available and CDDL'd over two years ago. There was already a precedent for non-GPL code in the Linux kernel (nvidia and others). But instead of porting DTrace to Linux, we've had two years of license battles and promises. How does that help me, the end user? ... Hello?

I'd still love to see DTrace on Linux - one reason is so that I can port the DTraceToolkit to Linux. I'm looking forward to it as I really love writing DTrace scripts, and as a performance and troubleshooting guy the capabilities of DTrace are mindblowing. DTrace will be a big part of my life until the day I die; and I'm hoping that Linux can be part of that too.

There are others like me in the DTrace community who will no doubt help to make Linux DTrace a success. Just like we'll strive to help make MacOS DTrace a success, and wherever else DTrace is ported to.

If (or when) the DTrace Linux port does finally happen, I'll not only help out with scripts, but I'll help out with how-to documentation and presentations too. No need to borrow without asking. ;-)

Reply Score: 7

RE: We'll help
by smitty on Sat 4th Aug 2007 05:19 in reply to "We'll help"
smitty Member since:

If (or when) the DTrace Linux port does finally happen

It is NEVER going to happen, and neither will ZFS at least in the kernel. As you said, there is precedent for putting non GPL code in the kernel, like the nvidia drivers. But it is important to note that the kernel devs do not put that in themselves and it isn't in the vanilla official kernel. In fact, one of the LiveCD distros got in legal trouble just for distributing a kernel with the 3d drivers in it. An analogous situation would be Sun providing ZFS and DTrace ports that individual users could download from their website and load into their own kernels manually. Sun has no interest in doing this. Perhaps some other 3rd party will take up the task?

Sun could end this whole mess right now by dual licensing their code under the GPL, but for many reasons they don't want to. Which is their right. They can put the code under whatever license they want to, but to put it under an incompatible license and then complain it isn't being used in Linux is a little ridiculous. I think they know this and just like the attention it brings them and being able to point to a very concrete and useful advantage Solaris has over Linux right now.

The real losers right now are the linux users who have a subpar implementation, but hopefully that will change in the future.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: We'll help
by bgregg on Sat 4th Aug 2007 21:16 in reply to "RE: We'll help"
bgregg Member since:

It is surprising how many people have posted to say that CDDL DTrace Linux will never happen, that this was Sun's plan all along, that Sun isn't genuinely interested in co-operating, etc.

I'm sorry, but who are these people?

smitty: Matt
shapeshifter: Shapeshifter
zztaz: zztaz
pseudocode: xphilipp

Those are the realnames provided to their osnews profiles. You might want to update them, if you expect any more credibility than an anonymous coward.

Both Sun's CEO and members of team DTrace have said that they want to see DTrace on Linux. This isn't some conspiracy. I work with team DTrace, we've discussed this at length, and it is genuinely what we want.

So if you'd like to post about what Sun thinks or is planning - then you'll need to explain how you know better than both Sun's CEO and team DTrace.

And if you'd like to post about what Linux would never do, then please explain how you know this. Are you a respected spokesperson for Linux? Are you a major contributor to the Linux kernel?

Reply Parent Score: 5