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How to use the strace and ltrace commands: 2-Minute Linux Tips

Network World | May 13, 2022

In this Linux tip, learn how to use the strace and ltrace commands. They provide information on the system and library calls that a Linux process makes and this information can help when you're troubleshooting a process that's not behaving as you'd expect.

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Hi, this is Sandra Henry-Stocker, author of the “Unix as a Second Language” blog on NetworkWorld.
In this Linux tip, we’re going to look at the strace and ltrace commands. They provide information on the system and library calls that a Linux process makes and this information can help when you're troubleshooting a process that's not behaving as you'd expect. You will likely have to install these commands.
As you can see, the pwd command makes a number of system calls (e.g., access and openat). You can also trace its system calls in summary mode like this:
Ordered by the time spent on each of the system calls. You cannot redirect the output of either command, but you can send the output to a file like this:
The ltrace command uses the same syntax, but looks at library calls. So, you can run commands like these:
That’s your Linux tip for strace and ltrace.
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