recorder_trace_set - Man Page


recorder_trace_set ā€” Configure tracing for event recorders
RECORDER_TRACE ā€” Retrieve configured value


#include <recorder/recorder.h>

int recorder_trace_set(const char * trace_set);
#define RECORDER_TRACE(trace_name) ...


The recorder_trace_set() function configures tracing for event recorder, based on a trace description given in trace_set. The function accepts a NULL input. A typical usage is to call it twice at the beginning of the program, the first time to set some default configuration for important recorders such as warnings or errors, the second time to pass some environment variable letting users configure tracing easily.

    /* Activate tracing for all _warning and _error event recorders */

    /* User trace configuration, possible overriding the above */

The trace description is a space-delimited list of trace actions. Alternatively, a colon (:) can also be used as a separator.

Each trace action starts with a regular expression used to select event recorders by name. That regular expression can optionally be followed by an equal sign = itself followed by either a numerical value or a comma-separated list of names.


If a numerical value is given, this value is associated to the selected recorder(s), and can be read in the program by using RECORDER_TRACE(trace_name).

The configured value is primarily used to activate tracing for the record(3) and record_fast(3) functions. When the value is non-zero, these functions will immediately show the events (tracing mode). Otherwise, they will simply record the events.

If no equal sign is given, the numerical value 1 is used.

Sharing for real-time graphing

If a comma-separated list of names is given, the corresponding event recorder is shared for use by external programs such as recorder_scope(1). All events must have the same number and type of arguments. The comma-separated list sets the names of the data channels that can then be graphed in real-time.

Special trace selectors

A number of trace selectors have a special meaning, and are normally intended for the user of the program.


displays the list of all available recorders, along with the associated self-documentation string.


sets the name of the shared-memory file used to communicate with external programs, see recorder_share(3).


causes a recorder dump. See recorder_dump(3).


lists the current values for all trace configurations.


activates all traces.

Return Value

The function can return one of:


Thec trace description was successfully applied


One of the trace selection regular expressions is invalid.


One of the trace configuration values is neither a numerical value nor a comma-separated list of names.


The program below records its input arguments, and crashes if passed crash as the first command-line argument.

#include <recorder/recorder.h>
#include <string.h>

RECORDER(program_args, 32, "Program command-line arguments");
int main(int argc, char **argv)
    int a;
    recorder_dump_on_common_signals(0, 0);
    for (a = 0; a < argc; a++)
        record(program_args, "Argument %d is %+s", a, argv[a]);

    if (argc >= 2 && strcmp(argv[1], "crash") == 0)
        char *ptr = NULL;
        strcpy(ptr, argv[1]);

When a crash occurs, previously recorded events are printed out on the console.

The program below is an instrumented version of the classical recursive Fibonacci computation. It uses several recorders corresponding to different types of events, and activates warnings and errors in a way that can be configured by setting an environment variable.

#include <recorder/recorder.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

RECORDER(fib_main,    32, "Loops in fib function");
RECORDER(fib_loops,   32, "Loops in fib function");
RECORDER(fib_warning, 32, "Warnings in fib function");
RECORDER(fib_error,   32, "Errors in fib function");

int fib(int n)
    if (n <= 1) {
        if (n < 0)
            record(fib_error, "fib is undefined for negative value %d", n);
        return n;
    record(fib_loops, "Computing fib(%d)", n);
    int result = fib(n-1) + fib(n-2);
    record(fib_loops, "Computed fib(%d) = %d", n, result);
    return result;

int main(int argc, char **argv)
    int a;
    recorder_dump_on_common_signals(0, 0);
    recorder_trace_set(".*_warning=35 .*_error");
    for (a = 1; a < argc; a++) {
        int n = atoi(argv[a]);
        if (n >= RECORDER_TRACE(fib_warning))
            record(fib_warning, "Computing for %d may take a while", n);
        printf("fib(%d) = %d0, n, fib(n));
        if (n >= RECORDER_TRACE(fib_warning))
            record(fib_warning, "Computation for %d finally completed", n);

This program will produce an output similar to the following:

% fib 1 2 3 4 10 20 30 35 10 40 -1
fib(1) = 1
fib(2) = 1
fib(3) = 2
fib(4) = 3
fib(10) = 55
fib(20) = 6765
fib(30) = 832040
[2714667 0.177725] fib_warning: Computing for 35 may take a while
fib(35) = 9227465
[32575370 1.859156] fib_warning: Computation for 35 finally completed
fib(10) = 55
[32575547 1.859171] fib_warning: Computing for 40 may take a while
fib(40) = 102334155
[363735828 20.527882] fib_warning: Computation for 40 finally completed
[363735829 20.527887] fib_error: fib is undefined for negative value -1
fib(-1) = -1

The first column in trace outputs is the number of events that were recorded. THe second column is the time in seconds since the program started.

The same program can also be run with additional tracing or warnings, for example:

% FIB_TRACES="recorder_location fib_loops fib_warning=3" /tmp/fib 3 4
/tmp/fib.c:33:[82 0.000496] fib_warning: Computing for 3 may take a while
/tmp/fib.c:18:[83 0.000561] fib_loops: Computing fib(3)
/tmp/fib.c:18:[84 0.000570] fib_loops: Computing fib(2)
/tmp/fib.c:20:[85 0.000575] fib_loops: Computed fib(2) = 1
/tmp/fib.c:20:[86 0.000581] fib_loops: Computed fib(3) = 2
fib(3) = 2
/tmp/fib.c:36:[87 0.000590] fib_warning: Computation for 3 finally completed
/tmp/fib.c:33:[88 0.000596] fib_warning: Computing for 4 may take a while
/tmp/fib.c:18:[89 0.000601] fib_loops: Computing fib(4)
/tmp/fib.c:18:[90 0.000607] fib_loops: Computing fib(3)
/tmp/fib.c:18:[91 0.000612] fib_loops: Computing fib(2)
/tmp/fib.c:20:[92 0.000619] fib_loops: Computed fib(2) = 1
/tmp/fib.c:20:[93 0.000625] fib_loops: Computed fib(3) = 2
/tmp/fib.c:18:[94 0.000664] fib_loops: Computing fib(2)
/tmp/fib.c:20:[95 0.000707] fib_loops: Computed fib(2) = 1
/tmp/fib.c:20:[96 0.000724] fib_loops: Computed fib(4) = 3
fib(4) = 3
/tmp/fib.c:36:[97 0.000741] fib_warning: Computation for 4 finally completed


When a recorder is shared, incorrect data can be fetched by the client graphing program if the types and number of arguments is not consistent for all entries in the recorder.

Bugs should be reported using

See Also

recorder_dump(3), recorder_dump_for(3),
recorder_configure_output(3), recorder_configure_show(3)
recorder_configure_format(3), recorder_configure_type(3)

Additional documentation and tutorials can be found at


Written by Christophe de Dinechin

Referenced By

record(3), RECORDER(3), recorder_configure_output(3), recorder_configure_type(3), recorder_dump(3), recorder_scope(1).

The man pages RECORDER_TRACE(3) and RECORDER_TWEAK(3) are aliases of recorder_trace_set(3).

2019-03-09 1.0 Recorder Library