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Playlist "All Systems Go! 2019"

Traceloop for systemd and Kubernetes + Inspektor Gadget

Alban Crequy

Presenting [traceloop](, a “time travel” tracing tool to trace system calls in cgroups using BPF and overwritable ring buffers.

Many people use the “strace” tool to synchronously trace system calls using ptrace. [Traceloop]( similarly traces system calls but asynchronously in the background, using BPF and tracing per cgroup. I’ll show how it can be integrated with systemd and with Kubernetes via [Inspektor Gadget](

Traceloop's traces are recorded in a fast, in-memory, overwritable ring buffer like a flight recorder. As opposed to “strace”, the tracing could be permanently enabled on systemd services or Kubernetes pods and inspected in case of a crash. This is like a always-on “strace in the past”.

Traceloop uses BPF through the gobpf library. Several new features have been added in gobpf for the needs of traceloop: support for overwritable ring buffers and swapping buffers when the userspace utility dumps the buffer.