Chapter 4. Useful SystemTap Scripts

This chapter enumerates several SystemTap scripts you can use to monitor and investigate different subsystems. All of these scripts are available at /usr/share/systemtap/testsuite/systemtap.examples/ once you install the systemtap-testsuite RPM.

4.1. Network

The following sections showcase scripts that trace network-related functions and build a profile of network activity.

4.1.1. Network Profiling

This section describes how to profile network activity. nettop.stp provides a glimpse into how much network traffic each process is generating on a machine.
nettop.stp
#! /usr/bin/env stap

global ifxmit, ifrecv
global ifmerged

probe netdev.transmit
{
  ifxmit[pid(), dev_name, execname(), uid()] <<< length
}

probe netdev.receive
{
  ifrecv[pid(), dev_name, execname(), uid()] <<< length
}

function print_activity()
{
  printf("%5s %5s %-7s %7s %7s %7s %7s %-15s\n",
         "PID", "UID", "DEV", "XMIT_PK", "RECV_PK",
         "XMIT_KB", "RECV_KB", "COMMAND")

  foreach ([pid, dev, exec, uid] in ifrecv) {
	  ifmerged[pid, dev, exec, uid] += @count(ifrecv[pid,dev,exec,uid]);
  }
  foreach ([pid, dev, exec, uid] in ifxmit) {
	  ifmerged[pid, dev, exec, uid] += @count(ifxmit[pid,dev,exec,uid]);
  }
  foreach ([pid, dev, exec, uid] in ifmerged-) {
    n_xmit = @count(ifxmit[pid, dev, exec, uid])
    n_recv = @count(ifrecv[pid, dev, exec, uid])
    printf("%5d %5d %-7s %7d %7d %7d %7d %-15s\n",
           pid, uid, dev, n_xmit, n_recv,
           n_xmit ? @sum(ifxmit[pid, dev, exec, uid])/1024 : 0,
           n_recv ? @sum(ifrecv[pid, dev, exec, uid])/1024 : 0,
           exec)
  }

  print("\n")

  delete ifxmit
  delete ifrecv
  delete ifmerged
}

probe timer.ms(5000), end, error
{
  print_activity()
}

Note that function print_activity() uses the following expressions:
n_xmit ? @sum(ifxmit[pid, dev, exec, uid])/1024 : 0
n_recv ? @sum(ifrecv[pid, dev, exec, uid])/1024 : 0
These expressions are if/else conditionals. The first statement is simply a more concise way of writing the following psuedo code:
if n_recv != 0 then
  @sum(ifrecv[pid, dev, exec, uid])/1024
else
  0
nettop.stp tracks which processes are generating network traffic on the system, and provides the following information about each process:
  • PID — the ID of the listed process.
  • UID — user ID. A user ID of 0 refers to the root user.
  • DEV — which ethernet device the process used to send / receive data (for example eth0, eth1)
  • XMIT_PK — number of packets transmitted by the process
  • RECV_PK — number of packets received by the process
  • XMIT_KB — amount of data sent by the process, in kilobytes
  • RECV_KB — amount of data received by the service, in kilobytes
nettop.stp provides network profile sampling every 5 seconds. You can change this setting by editing probe timer.ms(5000) accordingly. Example 4.1, “nettop.stp Sample Output” contains an excerpt of the output from nettop.stp over a 20-second period:

Example 4.1. nettop.stp Sample Output

[...]
  PID   UID DEV     XMIT_PK RECV_PK XMIT_KB RECV_KB COMMAND        
    0     0 eth0          0       5       0       0 swapper        
11178     0 eth0          2       0       0       0 synergyc       

  PID   UID DEV     XMIT_PK RECV_PK XMIT_KB RECV_KB COMMAND        
 2886     4 eth0         79       0       5       0 cups-polld     
11362     0 eth0          0      61       0       5 firefox        
    0     0 eth0          3      32       0       3 swapper        
 2886     4 lo            4       4       0       0 cups-polld     
11178     0 eth0          3       0       0       0 synergyc       

  PID   UID DEV     XMIT_PK RECV_PK XMIT_KB RECV_KB COMMAND        
    0     0 eth0          0       6       0       0 swapper        
 2886     4 lo            2       2       0       0 cups-polld     
11178     0 eth0          3       0       0       0 synergyc       
 3611     0 eth0          0       1       0       0 Xorg           

  PID   UID DEV     XMIT_PK RECV_PK XMIT_KB RECV_KB COMMAND        
    0     0 eth0          3      42       0       2 swapper        
11178     0 eth0         43       1       3       0 synergyc       
11362     0 eth0          0       7       0       0 firefox        
 3897     0 eth0          0       1       0       0 multiload-apple
[...]

4.1.2. Tracing Functions Called in Network Socket Code

This section describes how to trace functions called from the kernel's net/socket.c file. This task helps you identify, in finer detail, how each process interacts with the network at the kernel level.
socket-trace.stp
#!/usr/bin/stap

probe kernel.function("*@net/socket.c").call {
  printf ("%s -> %s\n", thread_indent(1), probefunc())
}
probe kernel.function("*@net/socket.c").return {
  printf ("%s <- %s\n", thread_indent(-1), probefunc())
}

socket-trace.stp is identical to Example 3.6, “thread_indent.stp”, which was earlier used in SystemTap Functions to illustrate how thread_indent() works.

Example 4.2. socket-trace.stp Sample Output

[...]
0 Xorg(3611): -> sock_poll
3 Xorg(3611): <- sock_poll
0 Xorg(3611): -> sock_poll
3 Xorg(3611): <- sock_poll
0 gnome-terminal(11106): -> sock_poll
5 gnome-terminal(11106): <- sock_poll
0 scim-bridge(3883): -> sock_poll
3 scim-bridge(3883): <- sock_poll
0 scim-bridge(3883): -> sys_socketcall
4 scim-bridge(3883):  -> sys_recv
8 scim-bridge(3883):   -> sys_recvfrom
12 scim-bridge(3883):-> sock_from_file
16 scim-bridge(3883):<- sock_from_file
20 scim-bridge(3883):-> sock_recvmsg
24 scim-bridge(3883):<- sock_recvmsg
28 scim-bridge(3883):   <- sys_recvfrom
31 scim-bridge(3883):  <- sys_recv
35 scim-bridge(3883): <- sys_socketcall
[...]
Example 4.2, “socket-trace.stp Sample Output” contains a 3-second excerpt of the output for socket-trace.stp. For more information about the output of this script as provided by thread_indent(), refer to SystemTap Functions Example 3.6, “thread_indent.stp”.

4.1.3. Monitoring Incoming TCP Connections

This section illustrates how to monitor incoming TCP connections. This task is useful in identifying any unauthorized, suspicious, or otherwise unwanted network access requests in real time.
tcp_connections.stp
#! /usr/bin/env stap

probe begin {
  printf("%6s %16s %6s %6s %16s\n",
         "UID", "CMD", "PID", "PORT", "IP_SOURCE")
}

probe kernel.function("tcp_accept").return?,
      kernel.function("inet_csk_accept").return? {
  sock = $return
  if (sock != 0)
    printf("%6d %16s %6d %6d %16s\n", uid(), execname(), pid(),
           inet_get_local_port(sock), inet_get_ip_source(sock))
}

While tcp_connections.stp is running, it will print out the following information about any incoming TCP connections accepted by the system in real time:
  • Current UID
  • CMD - the command accepting the connection
  • PID of the command
  • Port used by the connection
  • IP address from which the TCP connection originated

Example 4.3. tcp_connections.stp Sample Output

UID            CMD    PID   PORT        IP_SOURCE
0             sshd   3165     22      10.64.0.227
0             sshd   3165     22      10.64.0.227

4.1.4. Monitoring Network Packets Drops in Kernel

The network stack in Linux can discard packets for various reasons. Some Linux kernels include a tracepoint, kernel.trace("kfree_skb"), which easily tracks where packets are discarded. dropwatch.stp uses kernel.trace("kfree_skb") to trace packet discards; the script summarizes which locations discard packets every five-second interval.
dropwatch.stp
#!/usr/bin/stap

############################################################
# Dropwatch.stp
# Author: Neil Horman <nhorman@redhat.com>
# An example script to mimic the behavior of the dropwatch utility
# http://fedorahosted.org/dropwatch
############################################################

# Array to hold the list of drop points we find
global locations

# Note when we turn the monitor on and off
probe begin { printf("Monitoring for dropped packets\n") }
probe end { printf("Stopping dropped packet monitor\n") }

# increment a drop counter for every location we drop at
probe kernel.trace("kfree_skb") { locations[$location] <<< 1 }

# Every 5 seconds report our drop locations
probe timer.sec(5)
{
	printf("\n")
	foreach (l in locations-) {
		printf("%d packets dropped at location %p\n",
			   @count(locations[l]), l)
	}
	delete locations
}


The kernel.trace("kfree_skb") traces which places in the kernel drop network packets. The kernel.trace("kfree_skb") has two arguments: a pointer to the buffer being freed ($skb) and the location in kernel code the buffer is being freed ($location).
Running the dropwatch.stp script 15 seconds would result in output similar in Example 4.4, “dropwatch.stp Sample Output”. The output lists the number of misses for tracepoint address and the actual address.

Example 4.4. dropwatch.stp Sample Output

Monitoring for dropped packets

51 packets dropped at location 0xffffffff8024cd0f
2 packets dropped at location 0xffffffff8044b472

51 packets dropped at location 0xffffffff8024cd0f
1 packets dropped at location 0xffffffff8044b472

97 packets dropped at location 0xffffffff8024cd0f
1 packets dropped at location 0xffffffff8044b472
Stopping dropped packet monitor
To make the location of packet drops more meaningful, refer to the /boot/System.map-`uname -r` file. This file lists the starting addresses for each function, allowing you to map the addresses in the output of Example 4.4, “dropwatch.stp Sample Output” to a specific function name. Given the following snippet of the /boot/System.map-`uname -r` file, the address 0xffffffff8024cd0f maps to the function unix_stream_recvmsg and the address 0xffffffff8044b472 maps to the function arp_rcv:
[...]
ffffffff8024c5cd T unlock_new_inode
ffffffff8024c5da t unix_stream_sendmsg
ffffffff8024c920 t unix_stream_recvmsg
ffffffff8024cea1 t udp_v4_lookup_longway
[...]
ffffffff8044addc t arp_process
ffffffff8044b360 t arp_rcv
ffffffff8044b487 t parp_redo
ffffffff8044b48c t arp_solicit
[...]