Monday Apr 07, 2008

Bath, DTrace and VirtualBox

I spent a very enjoyable day on Friday supporting our Campus Ambassador at Bath University by giving a talk to the Computer Science department. As it was out of term, this was a staff and researcher seminar, so had very good cakes indeed.

I did learn that using Virtualbox 1.5.51 to demo DTrace fbt probes is not a good idea with the current version of VirtualBox on OSX. The line

dtrace -n fbt:::entry'{@[probefunc] = count()}'
with a hang of the underlying VM. pid, io, sched, lockstat and proc providers work fine, but FBT and VirtualBox don't seem to get on. I submitted the logfile and how to reproduce to the email address on the VirtualBox popup.

I got a very fast response suggesting that this will be fixed in release(1.6) targeted at the end of April(as with all targets they can move).

Other than the DTrace FBT probe issue, I find VirtualBox on the Mac to be a step forward over VMware Fusion and easier to use.

In all an interesting day with subjects under discussion ranging from the need for a easy to use DTrace GUI, to the need to teach Operating Systems as a fundamental part of a Computer Science degree.

On the way home took some time to run up Sugar Loaf from the north just as it was getting dark.

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clive

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