From ArchWiki
Revision as of 07:22, 3 October 2017 by NonerKao (talk | contribs) (→‎SystemTap: Fix the style representing packages)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SystemTap provides free software (GPL) infrastructure to simplify the gathering of information about the running Linux system.


Simply install systemtap or systemtap-gitAUR, all done. Compare it to the most recent upstream release at [1].

Consider also building it from sources at [2], where support for newer kernels or distros makes first appearance.

Standard kernel

You will need at least the linux-headers package installed.

Because Arch permanently strips debugging data from its distributed binaries (including the kernel), many normal/fancier systemtap capabilities are simply not available, so many examples at /usr/share/doc/systemtap/examples will not work. However, see the stapprobes man page for the NON-DWARF and AUTO-DWARF probe types for what should still work, for example:

  • kernel tracepoints: kernel.trace("*")
  • user-space probes: process("...").function("...") (for programs you build yourself with -g)
  • user-space markers: process("...").mark("...") (if they were configured with the <sys/sdt.h> markers)
  • perfctr-based probes: perf.*
  • non-dwarf kernel probes: kprobe.function("...") and nd_syscall.* tapset (if a /boot/* file is available, see below).

Kernel rebuild

You may consider to build a linux-custom package to run SystemTap, but rebuilding the original linux package is easy and efficient. See also Kernels/Traditional compilation.


First, run cd ~/ && mkdir build && cd build/ && ASPROOT=. asp checkout linux && cd linux/trunk to get the original kernel build files. Then use makepkg --verifysource to get the additional files. By performing the verification, you can safely skip the steps on "Update checksum".

modify config

Edit config (for 32-bit systems) or config.x86_64 (for 64-bit systems), turn on these options:


By default only CONFIG_DEBUG_INFO and CONFIG_DEBUG_INFO_REDUCED are not set.

With current core/linux (tested with 3.15.2) you can simply append these lines into config.[x86_64]:


echo '
' >> config.x86_64

Note that if you want to put these lines into a self-maintained script, do not insert any space before CONFIG_* lines.

Update checksum

You can safely skip this step if you believe the source files are correct.

Run sha256sum config[.x86_64] to get a new sha256sum.

In PKGBUILD file, the sha256sum=('sum-of-first' ... 'sum-of-last') has the same order with source=('first-source' ... 'last-source'), put your new sha256sum in the right place.

Build and Install

Optional: It is recommended to set MAKEFLAGS="-j16" in /etc/makepkg.conf to speed up the compilation.

You will need about 12 GB disk space for this build. Consider using an in-memory tmpfs if you have large DRAM. Run makepkg or makepkg --skipchecksums to compile, then simply sudo pacman -U *.pkg.tar.gz to install the packages. pacman will tell you reinstall, and you should say y.

linux and linux-headers should be reinstalled, linux-docs does not matter.

Via this method, external modules (e.g. nvidia and virtualbox) do not need to be rebuilt.

Build custom kernel

Please reference this README


Pass 4 fails when launching

If you have:

   /usr/share/systemtap/runtime/stat.c:214:2: error: 'cpu_possible_map' undeclared (first use in this function)

Try to install systemtap-git package is missing

You can recover it where you build your linux kernel with DEBUG_INFO enabled

   cp src/linux-3.6/ /boot/


   sudo cp /proc/kallsyms /boot/`uname -r`

Process return probes not available

If you are sure that your kernel configuration is correct, but on launching stap you get both of the following messages:

   WARNING: Kernel function symbol table missing [man warning::symbols]
   semantic error: process return probes not available [man error::inode-uprobes]

then SystemTap may have failed to verify support for this feature. You can fix this by following the steps in is missing.