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This paper introduces SystemTap, a new performance and kernel troubleshooting infrastructure for Linux. SystemTap provides a scripting environment that can eliminate the modify-build-test loop often required for understanding details of Linux kernel behavior. SystemTap is designed to be sufficiently robust and efficient to support applications in production environments. The broad goals are to reduce the time and complexity for analyzing problems that involve kernel activity, to greatly expand the community of engineers to which such analyses are available, and to reduce the need to modify and rebuild the kernel as a troubleshooting technique.
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