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Self-Service Linux®: Mastering the Art of Problem Determination by Dan Behman, Mark Wilding

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Chapter 2. strace and System Call Tracing Explained

Introduction

In a perfect world, an error message reported by a tool or application would contain all of the information required to diagnose the problem. Unfortunately, the world is far from being a perfect place. Many, if not most, error messages are unclear, ambiguous, or only describe what happened and not why (for example, “could not open file”). Errors are often related to how a tool or application interacted with the underlying operating system. A trace of those interactions can provide a behind-the-scenes look at many types of errors. On Linux the strace utility can be used to trace the thin layer between the kernel and a tool or application. The strace tool can help to investigate an ...

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