Oracle open-sources DTrace under the GPL

Which makes lots of sysadmins' fave tracing tool cool for Linux

By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor

Posted in Software, 19th February 2018 08:28 GMT

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.

As noted by developer Mark J. Wielaard, this commit by an Oracle developer shows that something is afoot.

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. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily


More from The Register

Oracle ZFS man calls for Big Red to let filesystem upstream into Linux

Also reveals Big Red's 'ugly' five-year project to replace 12PB of NetApp with ZFS

I can DB clearly now the clouds are gone: Oracle 12c on-premises for Linux, SPARC

Bet both of those cloud customers are angry now

Oracle pledges annual Solaris updates for you to install each summer

And a plan to have users of Sun hardware upgrade if they want Solaris 11.4 and proper patches

Due to Oracle being Oracle, Eclipse holds poll to rename Java EE (No, it won't be Java McJava Face)

Nor C-- or Should Have Used Go or Screw Ellison...

Terix boss thrown in the cooler for TWO years for peddling pirated Oracle firmware, code patches

Big Red all smiles after black-market support biz bosses jailed

Oracle whips out the swatter, squishes 254 security bugs in its gear

Java fixes lobbed out, Spectre Solaris patches issued

'Disappearing' data under ZFS on Linux sparks small swift tweak

Updated Fix took three days and a rescue for stranded data is on the way

And Oracle E-biz suite makes 3: Package also vulnerable to exploit used by cryptocurrency miner

Hat trick!

Oracle point-of-sale system vulnerabilities get Big Red cross

Patched, Oracle? Speedily

Oracle demands dev tear down iOS app that has 'JavaScript' in its name

Ordinary folk may be confused by title, takedown demand suggests