Taking the printf out of printf Debugging

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Debugging a realtime system is hard, especially if the bugs only appear on a live system. Debuggers cannot be used, and printf debugging is often deemed too risky. The Erlang runtime offers a way to do on-the-fly instrumentation on the function level through the erlang:trace/3 function.
This talk will discuss the trace BIF and how to use it. It will also describe redbug, a user-friendly and safe interface to the trace BIF. War stories will in all likelihood be offered.

Talk objectives: Describe the Erlang tracing functions and how to use them.

Target audience: Developers and ops people, especially those working on large, embedded, real-time systems.


  • Mats Cronqvist

    Mashing the monolith
    Klarna AB

    Mats Cronqvist holds what's possibly the least useful of all academic titles: a Ph.D. in Experimental Nuclear Physics. He's spent a good amount of time chasing exotic subatomic particles, but rarely found any interesting ones. Since 1997 he's been paid to chase Erlang bugs instead, and has been able to find quite a few, possibly because they are not hard to come by. He currently works for Klarna, architecting Payments, Next Generation.

    Mats Cronqvist
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Posted on May 30, 2013