ProductsDesktop Server For Scientific Computing For IBM POWER For IBM System z For SAP Business Applications Red Hat Network Satellite ManagementExtended Update Support High Availability High Performance Network Load Balancer Resilient Storage Scalable File System Smart Management Extended Lifecycle SupportDeveloper Studio Portfolio Edition Web Framework Kit Application Platform Web Server Data Grid Portal Platform Red Hat JBoss A-MQ Red Hat JBoss Fuse SOA Platform Business Rules Management System (BRMS) Data Services Platform Messaging JBoss Operations Network JBoss Community or JBoss enterprise
SolutionsApplication development Business process management Enterprise application integration Interoperability Operational efficiency Security VirtualizationSolaris to Red Hat Enterprise Linux Migration overview Migrate from your UNIX platform How to migrate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux Upgrade to the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux release JBoss Enterprise Middleware Benefits of migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux Migration services Start a conversation with Red Hat
TrainingPopular and new courses Red Hat JBoss Administration curriculum Core System Administration curriculum JBoss Middleware Development curriculum Advanced System Administration curriculum Linux Development curriculum Cloud Computing, Virtualization, and Storage curriculum
ConsultingBusiness Process Management Cloud and Virtualization Custom Software Development Enterprise Data and Storage Systems Management Migrations
Fedora 12 Spotlight Feature: SystemTap
October 26, 2009
by Fedora Team
There are plenty of new features slated for Fedora 12 and we’ll be featuring just a few over the next few weeks in our spotlight feature blog series. Enhancements to SystemTap should delight developers and system administrators. Here are just a few of the reasons why we love SystemTap - be sure to check out a more in-depth overview and podcast on SystemTap here.
Red Hat’s Will Cohen, a performance tools engineer and SystemTap developer, best sums up SystemTap in stating: “Being able to modify and instrument code to understand what is going on in open source is cool, but having to recompile the code and restart machine to run that modified code isn’t so cool. SystemTap provides infrastructure to simplify that instrumentation process. It allows developers and system administrators to instrument the kernel and user space programs without the need to recompile, restart or even stop your program or system. They can observe what is happening without having to stop or interrupt anything.”
SystemTap 1.0, which is part of Fedora 12, brings at least three significant sets of improvements. First, it includes a variety of new features, such as the ability to take advantage of kernel tracepoints, extended support for C++ code, and a set of static probe markers programmers can include in their code to make tracing easier. If supporting debugging information or “debuginfo” isn’t installed on the system, the newest versions of SystemTap even suggest the command needed to get the appropriate debuginfo RPM installed. Developers are currently at work making that debuginfo more compact, and we expect to see that feature in a future Fedora release, supported fully by SystemTap.
Second, SystemTap has been closely integrated with the popular Eclipse IDE so developers can launch SystemTap scripts on their C/C++ projects from within Eclipse itself, as well as providing an anchor for linking SystemTap data with Eclipse graphics.
Third, the SystemTap developers have listened to SystemTap users, and now provide a more robust set of documentation, tutorials, and example scripts. These materials are designed to make it easier for programmers to get started using SystemTap, not only by giving them fuller explanations of the tools available, but by allowing them to follow or adapt the example scripts for their own use. These example scripts are used in the test suite, so SystemTap can continue to provide a set of examples that work with each new release.
If you’re interested in learning more about SystemTap, the documentation along with tutorials and examples are available here. Or just install Fedora 12’s “systemtap” package, which includes the documentation on your system automatically. (Hint: You can get the pre-release Fedora 12 Beta now and try it out.)