Windows Insiders can now use DTrace

The venerable Sun debugger has a new home on Microsoft's operating system.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft has added support for DTrace into its Insider builds, thanks to a port of the open-source OpenDTrace project.

Writing in a blog post, Microsoft group program manager for Windows kernel Hari Pulapaka said all the changes Redmond made to support DTrace on Windows will be available on GitHub. The merge will happen over the next few months, but in the meantime, Microsoft is making its DTrace source available.

To use DTrace on Windows 10, users need a 64-bit Insider build 18342 or higher, and a valid Insider account. DTrace itself needs to be run in administrator mode.

Pulapaka said Microsoft needed to create a new kernel extension driver, traceext.sys, to expose the functionality DTrace needed. Traceext is not open source.

DTrace, and the ZFS file system, were once regarded as the crown jewels of Sun's Solaris operating system.

With the waning of Solaris, both technologies have found their way into other operating systems, such as Linux and the BSDs, with varying degrees of success.

In February 2018, Oracle stopped faffing around with DTrace, and switched its licence to GPLv2.

By that point, Linux had learned to live without the debugger and extended the Berkeley Packet Filter from its original networking duties to act as a more general purpose debugger.

Meanwhile, the FreeBSD has long had support for DTrace.

In recent times, Microsoft has been attempting to cast off the opinions formed of it in past decades, and cuddled up to open source.

During 2018 alone, Redmond purchased GitHub for $7.5 billion, offered its patent portfolio to members of the open-source patent consortium Open Invention Network, and open sourced parts of its Windows UI frameworks.

Last week, Microsoft open sourced its calculator application for Windows 10.

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