Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2024


What’s possible in observability when we have frame pointers

At Polar Signals, we have worked with the maintainers of some of the most used Linux distributions.

The recently announced enabling of frame pointers for Ubuntu will be a leap forward for observability.

By enabling frame pointers by default, we're lowering the barrier to entry for performance profiling and debugging, meaning:

  • Simplified Profiling: Dive straight into profiling without worrying about compiler configurations.
  • Lower Overhead: Unwinding with frame pointers is significantly cheaper than using DWARF or DWARF-derived information.
  • Debugging Accessibility: Even those new to profiling can access high-quality data, democratizing the process of performance optimization. It will allow bcc-tools, bpftrace, perf, and other tooling to work out of the box.
  • Ecosystem Benefit: Ubuntu comprises thousands of open-source projects, and we'll work to upstream performance fixes that we find across potentially thousands of packages wherever we can.

In this talk, we will dive deep into the above topic and learn how administrators and users can benefit from the work starting today.


Photo of Matthias Loibl Matthias Loibl
Photo of Jon Seager Jon Seager