DTrace book sample chapter: File Systems

The long awaited DTrace book, which I posted as coming soon in September last year, is finally ready to be printed! Since then it has been through copy-edit, composition, formatting and indexing. It’s taken a while, due in part to this being an 1100 page book. It’s exciting to now see the final copy that will begin printing. Jim and I have also received the table of contents and a sample chapter from the final copy to share:

DTrace Book: Table of Contents PDF (16 pages)

DTrace Book: Chapter 5 File Systems PDF (108 pages)

Chapter 5 analyses file systems using DTrace, and includes scripts to trace VFS, UFS, ZFS, HFS+ and others. File system analysis is particularly important for performance investigations as this can measure response time as experienced by the application, and includes all file system I/O. This is often more relevant than looking at disk I/O, which may be asynchronous to the application (file system write flushing), and can miss issues entirerly. Slow I/O isn’t always due to disks – it could be kernel lock contention, for example. If there are indeed issues at the disk level, DTrace can investigate in detail there too. Chapter 4 Disk I/O shows tracing of the lower level I/O subsystem including block devices, SCSI, SATA, IDE and SAS.

I’ve summarized the chapters and appendices below, with final page counts:

A DTrace Tunable Variables 6
B D Language Reference 14
C Provider Arguments Reference 20
D DTrace on FreeBSD 6
E USDT Example 12
F DTrace Error Messages 10
G DTrace Cheat Sheet 4
- Glossary 12

1 Introduction 18
2 The D Language 32
3 System View 100
4 Disk I/O 140
5 File Systems 108
6 Network Lower Level Protocols 158
7 Application Protocols 112
8 Languages 114
9 Applications 50
10 Databases 34
11 Security 26
12 Kernel 54
13 DTrace Tools 40
14 Tips and Tricks 18

I’ve included the Glossary as it’s a particularly important part of the book. Since we cover such a wide range of topics, readers may be exposed to unfamiliar topics with unfamiliar terminology. Jim and I wrote a longer than usual Glossary to cover all the terms, which we hope is helpful.

We’ll make the scripts available to download as a tarball so that you don’t need to retype the scripts from the book, or the sample PDF (copy-n-paste from the PDF doesn’t work well anyway).

You can watch videos of Jim and myself talking about the book (taken roughly a year ago): Introduction to the DTrace book and What’s in the DTrace book.

Update Nov 3, 2011:
We have some newer videos about the DTrace book, and particularly its relevance to Oracle Solaris 11.
And there’s a website for the DTrace book.

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Posted on February 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm by Brendan Gregg · Permalink
In: DTrace · Tagged with: , , ,

18 Responses

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by cpj1, Matthew Smillie and Bill Pijewski, Brendan Gregg. Brendan Gregg said: DTrace book sample chapter available to download http://bit.ly/icmFiC Chapter 5 File Systems [...]

  2. Written by Boyd Adamson
    on February 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Congratulations, I’m sure it’s been worth the wait.

  3. Written by Rennie Allen
    on February 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Great news!

  4. Written by Rex di Bona
    on February 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    An interesting chapter. I’m looking forward to Appendix C

  5. Written by DTrace book - c0t0d0s0.org
    on February 24, 2011 at 12:49 am

    [...] looks that he and Jim Mauro completed their work and it appears as it's near to going to print. In DTrace book sample chapter: File Systems he offers a the table of content and the chapter about filesystems as a teaser. Posted by Joerg [...]

  6. [...] DTrace your file system. From their soon-to-be-published book: DTrace: Dynamic Tracing in Oracle Solaris, Mac OS X and FreeBSD, authors Brendan Gregg and Jim Mauro have posted Chapter 5 on File Systems as a free download. [...]

  7. Written by Kyle Haliey
    on February 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Looking forward to the book
    and learning more about some of the nuances like printing multiple aggregates , regular expression matching in predicates, tricks such as looping if you just have to do it

  8. Written by Paul Johnston
    on February 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Amazon are saying 18th March is that nailed on?
    Also so glad to see it is in paperback :-)

  9. Written by Isaac Rozenfeld
    on March 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Hearty congrats! A great milestone!

  10. Written by Keith Anderson
    on March 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Looks good. Will this be available in Kindle format?

  11. Written by yc
    on March 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    great news:)
    do you plan do deliver a kindle version?

  12. Written by Flagword.net » Finally got something to read
    on May 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

    [...] Hurray! Just received a long awaited DTrace: Dynamic Tracing in Oracle Solaris, Mac OS X and FreeBSD book. From the very begining, even before I had pre-ordered it from Amazon, I knew it would be another great work made by Brendad Gregg and Jim Mauro. And I wasn’t mistaken. If you don’t trust me I strongly encourage everyone to read a sample chapter generously provided by Brendan – DTrace book sample chapter: File Systems. [...]

  13. Written by Brendan's blog » File System Latency: part 4
    on May 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    [...] can be modified to include other syscall types, and other file systems. See fsrwtime.d from the DTrace book for a version that matches more syscall types, and prints latency by file system, operation and [...]

  14. Written by Brendan's blog » File System Latency: part 5
    on June 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    [...] Jim and I produced many new VFS scripts, covering Solaris, Mac OS X and FreeBSD. These are in the File Systems chapter (which is available as a PDF). While many of these did not report latency statistics, it is not [...]

  15. [...] In 2007 I wrote some DTrace MySQL onliners and scripts, including mysql_pid_etime.d, which used the DTrace pid provider. Derek Crudgington (now a fellow Joyeur) took this a little further and compiled a MySQL DTrace Kit containing several pid provider-based scripts, which also traced slow query writes. I never went much further with the pid provider since a better way was in development: the USDT-based DTrace mysql provider. This was much easier to use and has a stable (or more stable) interface. I included some mysql provider one-liners and scripts in the DTrace book. [...]

  16. [...] invisible via iostat(1M). I’ve wrestled with this issue before, and have included scripts in the DTrace book to show the SCSI cache flush [...]

  17. Written by Drilling Down Into the Kernel « Joyeur
    on November 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    [...] can be modified to include other syscall types, and other file systems. See fsrwtime.d from the DTrace book for a version that matches more syscall types, and prints latency by file system, operation and [...]

  18. Written by Drilling Down Into the Kernel « Joyeur
    on December 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    [...] be good enough – and a lot simpler. That’s why we put it early in the Strategy section of the File Systems chapter of the DTrace [...]

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