Saturday August 3 2019, C3.6, 14:50 AEST

Trace, Profile & Debug applications in production without restarting or loading a framework.We will look at a number of modern techniques including eBPF and ptrace to attach to running production applications with no preparation and minimal performance impact.


It can be difficult to Trace, Profile or Debug applications in production due to both the performance overhead or required preparation (needing to have already configured a framework).

There are now a number of modern techniques including eBPF-based tools that allow us to trace applications at runtime and ptrace-based tools such as pyflame that allow us to profile applications without pre-loading any code and with minimal performance overhead. These tools can be particularly helpful in production environments.

We will look at how to use a number of tools including pyflame, py-spy and eBPF based tool pythoncalls and how these might be used to solve production problems including

  • Profiling code to understand a specific performance problem that suddenly appears in production
  • Understanding where a production process is stuck and stops responding
  • Debugging an application that is behaving inappropriately

After this talk you should be empowered with an understanding of how these tools can help you in a future production scenario.


Trent Lloyd


Trent Lloyd (@lathiat) works in Canonical’s Sustaining Engineering team providing Ubuntu & OpenStack support (where Python is the primary language). Previously having spent nearly a decade on the MySQL Support Team he is no stranger to being thrust into other team’s production problems.