DTrace helped me solve something work-related yesterday – it’s not worth going into the details, except that I was trying to find out what short-lived programs were being run by another program. Brendan Gregg’s execsnoop.d was the script I needed. Sure I could have probably used truss -t… but this was so much nicer.

The trouble is, I feel like I’ve cheated – read the answer from the back of the book, so to speak.

I don’t know enough about UNIX/kernel internals to know how to write my own DTrace scripts, and am not really sure where to start. By all accounts (and obviously) the DTrace manual would be a good one to look at, as would the famed Linker and Libraries Guide – but maybe there are other things I should be reading first in order to get more of a handle on this stuff.

I’m not much of a C programmer (I last encountered in college 8 years ago, it’s been java ever since) – so perhaps a quick skim through K&R would be worthwhile. Any ideas ? How do you learn about these things ?

I’m off on holidays mid-way through September for two weeks (one of them in Scotland) so I’m already getting my reading-list together, swearing this time that I’m not going to be checking email while on holidays…