Linux Symposium in Montreal

Two weeks ago I attended the Linux Symposium in Montreal.
I was there mostly to participate in the tracing track, and to discuss the current state of kernel tracing infrastructure and the other projects, determining what has been accomplished since the meetings we had at the Collaboration Summit in April. Some of the key players were not at the conference however, and the discussion was a bit limited. Some of the goals that were set at the Collab Summit are still lagging a bit. On the utrace side, Frank is working on the gdb stub to talk to utrace. This is built on top of kernels with utrace integrated (RHEL and Fedora) and uses the gdb remote protocol (in usual gdb fashion) to communicate with the target process being debugged under utrace control. His latest prototype is here:
http://sourceware.org/ml/systemtap/2009-q3/msg00045.html

Ptrace cleanups: Roland and Oleg are now official ptrace kernel maintainers (since April 2009). Oleg Nesterov is making progress on this, but I am not seeing any recent posts.
I see that there was a wave of ptrace cleanup patches at the end of May from Oleg (http://lkml.org/lkml/2009/5/30/229), but I cannot see that they went in. As of last week, there were no comments on them at all. It seems we are stuck in the architecture specific cleanups for ptrace (see this thread: http://lkml.org/lkml/2009/5/3/109).

Utrace: I've seen no major changes, but just this week, Oleg and Roland started looking at the utrace implementation a bit more closely, as you can see from the utrace-devel mailing list. Of course it's all depending on the ptrace cleanups getting into the kernel.

ftrace and markers: Steve Rostedt wasn't there, and Mathieu has been busy with his dissertation. Frederic Weisbecker gave a presentation, it was an introduction to ftrace.

Systemtap: Frank gave a talk on systemtap, an overall introduction and overview.

There was a panel where people talked about their projects, not much talk unfortunately around how to make progress in the overall area. It was mostly a showcase of each project.

Many people from the Montreal area talked about Eclipse. These folks work for Ericsson which uses Eclipse a lot.

The slides from the tracing mini-summits are here:
http://ltt.polymtl.ca/tracingwiki/index.php/TracingMiniSummit2009

The first day I attended a tutorial given by IBM, about Performance Inspector.
It's a decent performance tool, sharing many things with Oprofile, plus a gui. It turns out the project is an old internal IBM project, that got open sourced much later. One of the people working on it was the author of Oprofile.

I attended Martin and Dan talks as well. I think they were very good ones. Honestly, they had some real meat to them, and some new ideas. They also were engaging speakers, and didn't put the audience to sleep. I also attended Ric Wheeler's talk and that was interesting, and a nice high level summary.
Dan's Transcendent Memory slides are here:
http://oss.oracle.com/projects/tmem/documentation/presentations/
and his work is here:
http://oss.oracle.com/projects/tmem
There is a good article on Tmem here: http://lwn.net/Articles/340080/


Jon Corbet did his usual kernel report, and mentioned Oracle a lot. That was nice to see.

A talk about autotest from Google was OK. They started from Martin Bligh's system and expanded on that, the test driver mechanism is getting more sophisticated and operates on many different machines, and layers of servers.


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