Oracle appears to have open-sourced
DTrace, the system instrumentation tool that Sun Microsystems created in the early 2000s and which has been beloved of many-a-sysadmin ever since.
Big Red recently listed
DTrace as one of the open source projects it hosts and has also created a new mailing list for discussion of what it’s called a “Linux port of the Solaris Dynamic Tracing Framework.”
Five years of Sun software under Oracle: Were the critics right?
The company has also revealed “The license for DTrace has changed over time. Versions before 0.6.1 include a CDDL kernel module and a proprietary userspace component; versions 0.6.1 and above have a GPL kernel component and a UPL userspace component. The UPL is generally held to be compatible with the GPL, so it therefore looks possible to include
DTrace in Linux. As
DTrace afficianado Brendan Gregg told us in 2016, Linux has only recently added tracing tools to compare with Sun’s progeny. The prospect of bringing all of
DTrace to Linux is therefore rather tantalising.
So is the possibility that
DTrace‘s new licence re-opens an old, old argument. In this ancient Usenet thread
DTrace co-creator Bryan Cantrill and a chap named David Miller fiercely debate the merits of Linux and Solaris. Miller is now the primary maintainer of networking for the Linux kernel, a role in which he’ll have a say in whether
DTrace makes it anywhere near the kernel.
The Register asked Oracle to comment on the project but has not yet received a reply. ®
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