lttng_ust_tracef(3) — Linux manual page


LTTNG_UST_TRACEF(3)           LTTng Manual           LTTNG_UST_TRACEF(3)

NAME         top

       lttng_ust_tracef, lttng_ust_vtracef - LTTng-UST printf(3)-like

SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <lttng/tracef.h>

       #define lttng_ust_tracef(fmt, ...)
       #define lttng_ust_vtracef(fmt, ap)

       Link with:

       •   -llttng-ust

       •   If you define _LGPL_SOURCE before including <lttng/tracef.h>
           (directly or indirectly): -llttng-ust-common

DESCRIPTION         top

       The LTTng-UST lttng_ust_tracef() and lttng_ust_vtracef() API
       allows you to trace your application with the help of simple
       printf(3)-like and vprintf(3)-like macros.

       The fmt argument is passed directly as the fmt parameter of
       vasprintf(3), as well as:

       For lttng_ust_tracef()
           The optional parameters following fmt.

       For lttng_ust_vtracef()
           The ap parameter as the ap parameter of vasprintf(3) (va_list

       To use lttng_ust_tracef() or lttng_ust_vtracef(), include
       <lttng/tracef.h> where you need it, and link your application
       with liblttng-ust and liblttng-ust-common. See the EXAMPLE
       section below for a complete usage example.

       Once your application is instrumented with lttng_ust_tracef()
       and/or lttng_ust_vtracef() calls and ready to run, use
       lttng-enable-event(1) to enable the lttng_ust_tracef:* event.

       The lttng_ust_tracef() and lttng_ust_vtracef() events contain a
       single field, named msg, which is the formatted string output.

       If you need to attach a specific log level to a
       lttng_ust_tracef()/lttng_ust_vtracef() call, use
       lttng_ust_tracelog(3) and lttng_ust_vtracelog(3) instead.

       See also the LIMITATIONS section below for important limitations
       to consider when using lttng_ust_tracef() or lttng_ust_vtracef().

EXAMPLE         top

       Here’s a usage example of lttng_ust_tracef():

           #include <stdlib.h>
           #include <lttng/tracef.h>

           int main(void)
               int i;

               for (i = 0; i < 25; i++) {
                   lttng_ust_tracef("my message: %s, this integer: %d",
                                    "a message", i);

               return EXIT_SUCCESS;

       This C source file, saved as app.c, can be compiled into a
       program like this:

           $ cc -o app app.c -llttng-ust -llttng-ust-common

       You can create an LTTng tracing session, enable the
       lttng_ust_tracef() events, and start the created tracing session
       like this:

           $ lttng create my-session
           $ lttng enable-event --userspace 'lttng_ust_tracef:*'
           $ lttng start

       Next, start the program to be traced:

           $ ./app

       Finally, stop the tracing session, and inspect the recorded

           $ lttng stop
           $ lttng view

LIMITATIONS         top

       The lttng_ust_tracef() and lttng_ust_vtracef() utility macros
       were developed to make user space tracing super simple, albeit
       with notable disadvantages compared to custom, full-fledged
       tracepoint providers:

       •   All generated events have the same provider/event names.

       •   There’s no static type checking.

       •   The only event field with user data you actually get, named
           msg, is a string potentially containing the values you passed
           to the macro using your own format. This also means that you
           cannot use filtering using a custom expression at run time
           because there are no isolated fields.

       •   Since lttng_ust_tracef() and lttng_ust_vtracef() use C
           standard library’s vasprintf(3) function in the background to
           format the strings at run time, their expected performance is
           lower than using custom tracepoint providers with typed
           fields, which do not require a conversion to a string.

       •   Generally, a string containing the textual representation of
           the user data fields is not as compact as binary fields in
           the resulting trace.

       Thus, lttng_ust_tracef()/lttng_ust_vtracef() are useful for quick
       prototyping and debugging, but should not be considered for any
       permanent/serious application instrumentation.

       lttng_ust_vtracef() does not have a STAP_PROBEV() call, because
       STAP_PROBEV() does not support va_list. If you need it, you
       should emit this call yourself.

       See lttng-ust(3) to learn more about custom tracepoint providers.

BUGS         top

       If you encounter any issue or usability problem, please report it
       on the LTTng bug tracker <

RESOURCES         top

       •   LTTng project website <>

       •   LTTng documentation <>

       •   Git repositories <>

       •   GitHub organization <>

       •   Continuous integration <>

       •   Mailing list <> for support and

       •   IRC channel <irc://>: #lttng on

COPYRIGHTS         top

       This macro is part of the LTTng-UST project.

       This macro is distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public
       License, version 2.1 <
       licenses/lgpl-2.1.en.html>. See the for more details.

THANKS         top

       Thanks to Ericsson for funding this work, providing real-life use
       cases, and testing.

       Special thanks to Michel Dagenais and the DORSAL laboratory
       <> at École Polytechnique de
       Montréal for the LTTng journey.

AUTHORS         top

       LTTng-UST was originally written by Mathieu Desnoyers, with
       additional contributions from various other people. It is
       currently maintained by Mathieu Desnoyers

SEE ALSO         top

       lttng_ust_tracelog(3), lttng_ust_vtracelog(3), lttng-ust(3),
       lttng(1), printf(3)

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the LTTng-UST (LTTng Userspace Tracer)
       project.  Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  It is not known how to report bugs for this
       man page; if you know, please send a mail to
       This page was obtained from the tarball fetched from
       ⟨⟩ on 2023-12-22.  If you
       discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page,
       or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for
       the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the
       information in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original
       manual page), send a mail to

LTTng 2.14.0-pre               12/17/2022            LTTNG_UST_TRACEF(3)

Pages that refer to this page: lttng-ust(3)lttng_ust_tracelog(3)tracef(3)