Adding tracing in your code

This guide shows how to add tracing to your code.

Note: For more information on the Fuchsia tracing system, see Fuchsia tracing system.


Before you begin, make sure you have completed the following:

Add tracing to your component

Once your component is a trace provider, you can perform the following types of tracing:

Note: The tracing macros should be added to the code of your component. For more information on the C and C++ tracing macros, see Tracing: C and C++ macros.

Trace an instant event

To write an instant event representing a single moment in time:

  • {C and C++}

    TRACE_INSTANT("helloworld", "hello_world_test", TRACE_SCOPE_PROCESS, "message", TA_STRING("Hello, World!"));

This example specifies a category of helloworld, a name of hello_world_test, a scope of TRACE_SCOPE_PROCESS, and a key and value pair.

For more information on the TRACE_INSTANT macro, see TRACE_INSTANT.

Disable tracing

There are cases where you might wish to entirely disable tracing such as when you are about to make a final release. If the NTRACE macro is in your code, then the tracing macros don't generate any code:

  • {C and C++}

    #define NTRACE  // disable tracing
    #include <lib/trace/event.h>

Make sure that you define the NTRACE macro before the #includestatement.

In this example, the rx_count and tx_count fields are used only with tracing, so if NTRACE is asserted, which indicates that tracing is disabled, the fields don't take up space in the my_statistics_t structure.

  • {C and C++}

    typedef struct {
    #ifndef NTRACE  // reads as "if tracing is not disabled"
        uint64_t    rx_count;
        uint64_t    tx_count;
        uint64_t    npackets;
    } my_statistics_t;

However, you do need to conditionally compile the code for managing the recording of the statistics. For example, you can use the TRACE_INSTANT macro:

  • {C and C++}

    #ifndef NTRACE
        TRACE_INSTANT("bandwidth", "txpackets", TRACE_SCOPE_PROCESS,
                      "count", TA_UINT64(status.tx_count));
    #endif  // NTRACE

For more information on the NTRACE macro, see NTRACE.

Determine if tracing is on

In some cases, you may need to determine if tracing is on at runtime. If tracing is compiled in your code because NTRACE is not defined, the TRACE_ENABLED() macro determines if tracing for your trace provider is on.

If tracing is compiled out, then TRACE_ENABLED() always returns false.

For example:

  • {C and C++}

    #ifndef NTRACE
        if (TRACE_ENABLED()) {
            int v = do_something_expensive();
    #endif  // NTRACE

This example uses both the #ifndef and the TRACE_ENABLED() macro together because the function do_something_expensive() might not exist in the trace-disabled version of your code.

For more information on the TRACE_ENABLED macro, see TRACE_ENABLED.

Time an event

In some cases, you may need to time a function or procedure.

This example is from a blobfs vnode constructor. See //src/storage/blobfs/

  • {C++}

    zx_status_t VnodeBlob::InitCompressed() {
        TRACE_DURATION("blobfs", "Blobfs::InitCompressed", "size", inode_.blob_size,
                       "blocks", inode_.num_blocks);

This example records the length of time spent in the constructor, along with the size and number of blocks. Since this is a C++ example, the data types can be inferred by the compiler.

For more information on the TRACE_DURATION macro, see TRACE_DURATION.

Once you have added a tracing statement to your component, you can now collect a trace. For more information, see Recording a Fuchsia trace.