path: root/Documentation
diff options
authorMathieu Desnoyers <mathieu.desnoyers@efficios.com>2011-03-16 19:04:25 -0400
committerMathieu Desnoyers <mathieu.desnoyers@polymtl.ca>2011-03-16 19:04:25 -0400
commite5cfc0cc0b977d11bfc42d71e08ebbdd572f7e5a (patch)
tree6a31c1b948a55ed2d1db8568d3c680edd45ea34f /Documentation
parentf079e3b167a68a6ea2fac1afae1fa8daef7de249 (diff)
revert marker remove LTTng tree (internal). revert commit fc5377668c3d808e1d53c4aee152c836f55c3490 Signed-off-by: Mathieu Desnoyers <mathieu.desnoyers@polymtl.ca>
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation')
1 files changed, 104 insertions, 0 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/markers.txt b/Documentation/markers.txt
new file mode 100644
index 00000000000..d2b3d0e91b2
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/markers.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,104 @@
+ Using the Linux Kernel Markers
+ Mathieu Desnoyers
+This document introduces Linux Kernel Markers and their use. It provides
+examples of how to insert markers in the kernel and connect probe functions to
+them and provides some examples of probe functions.
+* Purpose of markers
+A marker placed in code provides a hook to call a function (probe) that you can
+provide at runtime. A marker can be "on" (a probe is connected to it) or "off"
+(no probe is attached). When a marker is "off" it has no effect, except for
+adding a tiny time penalty (checking a condition for a branch) and space
+penalty (adding a few bytes for the function call at the end of the
+instrumented function and adds a data structure in a separate section). When a
+marker is "on", the function you provide is called each time the marker is
+executed, in the execution context of the caller. When the function provided
+ends its execution, it returns to the caller (continuing from the marker site).
+You can put markers at important locations in the code. Markers are
+lightweight hooks that can pass an arbitrary number of parameters,
+described in a printk-like format string, to the attached probe function.
+They can be used for tracing and performance accounting.
+* Usage
+In order to use the macro trace_mark, you should include linux/marker.h.
+#include <linux/marker.h>
+trace_mark(subsystem_event, "myint %d mystring %s", someint, somestring);
+Where :
+- subsystem_event is an identifier unique to your event
+ - subsystem is the name of your subsystem.
+ - event is the name of the event to mark.
+- "myint %d mystring %s" is the formatted string for the serializer. "myint" and
+ "mystring" are repectively the field names associated with the first and
+ second parameter.
+- someint is an integer.
+- somestring is a char pointer.
+Connecting a function (probe) to a marker is done by providing a probe (function
+to call) for the specific marker through marker_probe_register() and can be
+activated by calling marker_arm(). Marker deactivation can be done by calling
+marker_disarm() as many times as marker_arm() has been called. Removing a probe
+is done through marker_probe_unregister(); it will disarm the probe.
+marker_synchronize_unregister() must be called between probe unregistration and
+the first occurrence of
+- the end of module exit function,
+ to make sure there is no caller left using the probe;
+- the free of any resource used by the probes,
+ to make sure the probes wont be accessing invalid data.
+This, and the fact that preemption is disabled around the probe call, make sure
+that probe removal and module unload are safe. See the "Probe example" section
+below for a sample probe module.
+The marker mechanism supports inserting multiple instances of the same marker.
+Markers can be put in inline functions, inlined static functions, and
+unrolled loops as well as regular functions.
+The naming scheme "subsystem_event" is suggested here as a convention intended
+to limit collisions. Marker names are global to the kernel: they are considered
+as being the same whether they are in the core kernel image or in modules.
+Conflicting format strings for markers with the same name will cause the markers
+to be detected to have a different format string not to be armed and will output
+a printk warning which identifies the inconsistency:
+"Format mismatch for probe probe_name (format), marker (format)"
+Another way to use markers is to simply define the marker without generating any
+function call to actually call into the marker. This is useful in combination
+with tracepoint probes in a scheme like this :
+void probe_tracepoint_name(unsigned int arg1, struct task_struct *tsk);
+DEFINE_MARKER_TP(marker_eventname, tracepoint_name, probe_tracepoint_name,
+ "arg1 %u pid %d");
+notrace void probe_tracepoint_name(unsigned int arg1, struct task_struct *tsk)
+ struct marker *marker = &GET_MARKER(kernel_irq_entry);
+ /* write data to trace buffers ... */
+* Probe / marker example
+See the example provided in samples/markers/src
+Compile them with your kernel.
+Run, as root :
+modprobe marker-example (insmod order is not important)
+modprobe probe-example
+cat /proc/marker-example (returns an expected error)
+rmmod marker-example probe-example