Tracer ring-buffer unification with the Generic Ring Buffer library


One Line Summary

Infrastructure proposal for Perf and Ftrace ring buffer unification.


The Generic Ring Buffer library is proposed as a response to both Linux community unification and industry high-performance requirements. This library is a major step in tracer infrastructure unification, providing flexibility, high-throughput, reliability and real-time awareness to both tracers and kernel drivers through a unified API. This effort originates from Linus Torvalds’s wish, expressed at Kernel Summit 2008, for a single unified ring buffer solution. This ring buffer is proposed as a replacement for both Ftrace and Perf ring buffers. It fulfills the requirements from the telecommunication, embedded, real-time and enterprise server Linux users.

Given the high interest around Ftrace and Perf in the last year, I think presenting this ring buffer unification work is timely, as it brings solutions to the problem of tracer code-base duplication.


tracing, Ring buffer, Unification


  • Mathieu Desnoyers

    EfficiOS Inc.


    Mathieu Desnoyers works at EfficiOS Inc., an operating system efficiency consultancy. He is the author and maintainer of the Linux Trace Toolkit next generation (LTTng) project started in November 2005. He is the main developer of Linux Trace Toolkit Viewer (LTTV), which started in 2003. He works in close collaboration with Google, IBM research, Fujitsu, Nokia, and Ericsson. For the past years, he has prepared the ground for mainlining a tracer in the Linux kernel. He is the author of the Tracepoints found in the Linux kernel, initated the work on “static jump patching” with the “Immediate Values” infrastructure, and has extended the “Local Atomic Operations” found in the mainline kernel. A significant part of the kernel static instrumentation is derived from the LTTng project. In the last year, he authored the “Userspace RCU” library. He completed his Ph.D. in December 2009 on the topic of “Low-Impact Operating System Tracing”.