Rootconf 2016

Rootconf is India's principal conference where systems and operations engineers share real world knowledge about building resilient and scalable systems.

Tod McQuillin


Introduction to DTrace (half day Tutorial)

Submitted Apr 4, 2016

The tutorial’s objective is to provide an overview of DTrace and show the student how to become proficient with using DTrace to formulate queries about system behaviour and get the desired answers.


DTrace is a powerful tool developed by Sun Microsystems for analyzing system behaviour and troubleshooting problems on production systems in real time. The first release of DTrace was on Solaris, but DTrace has since been ported to other Unix-like systems including MacOS X and FreeBSD. DTrace is also available on Oracle Linux, and for other Linux systems using the freely available dtrace4linux project.


Students should be proficient with using the Unix operating system and should be familiar with Unix shells, text editors, and at least one programming language. To run exercises during the class, students should have their own laptop available running Solaris, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, or Linux with DTrace installed and enabled. A VM running on another system can also be used to run a DTrace enabled OS.

Speaker bio

Tod McQuillin co-founded Telerama, one of the United States’s first public access Internet service providers, in 1991. Tod joined UBS in 1995 and worked in various IT groups in UBS including system administration, source code administration and developer services, performance metrics engineering and software development, and automated software build frameworks. Since 2015 he has been working as a freelance consultant at Seven Layer Studio in Kamogawa, Japan.

He has been working with BSD Unix since 1988, FreeBSD since 1993 and Solaris since 1995.

After moving to Japan in 1996, Tod has learned to read and write Japanese, Perl, C, and SQL to a high proficiency. He’s also a fine cook.


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