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20.11. OProfile and SystemTap

SystemTap is a tracing and probing tool that allows users to study and monitor the activities of the operating system in fine detail. It provides information similar to the output of tools like netstat, ps, top, and iostat; however, SystemTap is designed to provide more filtering and analysis options for the collected information.
While using OProfile is suggested in cases of collecting data on where and why the processor spends time in a particular area of code, it is less usable when finding out why the processor stays idle.
You might want to use SystemTap when instrumenting specific places in code. Because SystemTap allows you to run the code instrumentation without having to stop and restart the instrumented code, it is particularly useful for instrumenting the kernel and daemons.
For more information on SystemTap, see the section called “Online Documentation” for the relevant SystemTap documentation.