DTrace book coming soon

Jim Mauro and I recently handed the manuscript for the DTrace book to the publisher, which (unformatted) came in at over 900 pages. It covers using DTrace, complementary to the DTrace Guide, and should serve as a cookbook of DTrace scripts and one-liners for topics spanning the entire software stack. It also contains strategies and checklists for these topics, to help the reader develop scripts further.

The chapters are:

  1. Introduction
  2. The D Language
  3. System View
  4. Disk I/O
  5. Filesystems
  6. Network Lower Level Protocols
  7. Application Level Protocols
  8. Languages
  9. Applications
  10. Databases
  11. Security
  12. Kernel
  13. Tools
  14. Tips and Tricks

The book contains over 230 DTrace scripts and over 270 one-liners, many of which are new, and go much further than I have done previously in the DTraceToolkit.

Our intent was ambitious: this wasn’t to be just a cookbook of scripts, but a cookbook of useful scripts and strategy that spanned the entire software stack – covering both easy and difficult topics alike. We wrote up the chapters and subtopics that such a book would ideally cover, and then created the content – much of which didn’t exist before.

It’s taken most of the past year to develop and write this material – consuming all of my spare time at the expense of many things: blog entries, DTraceToolkit updates, and other personal sacrifices. It’s been exhausting at times, but it’s also very satisfying to have finally completed. The publisher is now turning this into the finished product, a process which typically takes a few months.

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Posted on September 23, 2010 at 2:18 am by Brendan Gregg · Permalink
In: DTrace · Tagged with: ,

16 Responses

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  1. Written by David Magda
    on September 23, 2010 at 5:47 am

    How cross-platform is this book?
    I can understand concentrating on Solaris, but did you make an allowances for FreeBSD and/or Mac OS X? Apple is the largest shipper of Unix desktops after all. :)

  2. Written by Chris
    on September 23, 2010 at 7:01 am

    David, I’d expect consideration to be given to dtrace on those operating systems given the subtitle on the book cover :-)

  3. Written by David
    on September 23, 2010 at 7:09 am

    The image wasn’t visible to me; but I can see it now.

  4. Written by Sanjeev
    on September 23, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Congratulations to both of you !! Eagerly waiting for the book to be available !!

  5. Written by cocot
    on September 24, 2010 at 5:36 am


  6. Written by Alan Hargreaves
    on September 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Looking forward to an autographed copy :-)

  7. Written by Zack
    on September 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Any idea if an ebook version will be available? I’m a huge fan of having most of my professional library on a sub-1lb device with me rather than as dead trees on shelves…

  8. Written by R.B. Love
    on September 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Is there a notification list I can get on?

  9. Written by Saurav Haloi
    on September 26, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Looking forward for this book. It will be great if an Indian (Eastern Economy) Edition is also published…

  10. Written by Paul Johnston
    on September 27, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Great, cannot wait!
    Know what I’m getting myself for Christmas :-)

  11. Written by Paul Johnston
    on September 28, 2010 at 2:46 am

    However that does get me thinking (shock)! I believe Mac OS X dropped ZFS, are they still continuing having it on their machines?

  12. Written by Brendan Gregg
    on September 30, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Thanks for the comments!
    Yes, the book does include Mac OS X and FreeBSD scripts and one-liners. The focus is Solaris, however the concepts and strategy can be reapplied elsewhere, which is specifically demonstrated for key scripts with the Mac OS X and FreeBSD versions. Also, all scripts were tested on all three operating systems, and even though many didn’t work immediately (especially fbt provider-based ones), the testing did encourage us to add comments and footnotes to help the reader get them going elsewhere.
    I believe an ebook version will be available on Safari. I’ll post the link when I’m certain it’s the right one.

  13. Written by Ugo Balordi
    on October 1, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I’m sure it will be another great book in my Solaris library.
    Quick question: there will be a link to download the scripts and the oneliners?
    A lazy boy like me does like to copy&paste to test stuff! :-)

  14. Written by carl
    on October 14, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Although 900 pages is a little scared, I am more than happy to pre order it. I can’t find ebook version on Safari right now.

  15. Written by Brendan Gregg
    on October 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Ugo: yes, we plan to have the scripts online

  16. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by OpenSolaris and sk, Brendan Gregg. Brendan Gregg said: I've already used scripts from my own DTrace book http://bit.ly/bzLh8Q – which was very handy. It will be published soon. [...]

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