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VCS Type git
VCS Version devel
Last Updated 2024-06-12
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Name Version
tracetools 0.2.1



The tracetools library is an Open Source project that provides tracing functions for message-passing middleware, specifically ROS.

NOTE This package is no longer maintained. We recommend to use the ROS 2 version instead, please see

Intended use

The intended use of this software is for collecting data from robotic systems during development.

The software is not targeted at use during production and has not been tested for this purpose. However, the license conditions of the applicable Open Source licenses allow you to adapt the software to your needs. Before using it in a safety relevant setting, make sure that the software fulfills your requirements and adjust it according to any applicable safety standards.

Instructions for use

This is a regular catkin package and can just be dropped into your workspace as-is.

Then either call the ros::trace methods directly, or use our modified ros_comm version.

However, to actually generate tracing output, you need to

  1. Install LTTNG using (example for Ubuntu) $ sudo apt install liblttng-ust-dev lttng-tools lttng-modules-dkms
  2. Pass WITH_LTTNG (example for catkin tools) $ catkin config -DWITH_LTTNG=ON
  3. Recompile your workspace
  4. TEST tracing with the included test script $ rosrun tracetools tracetools_test In this case, "no news is good news". If a problem occurs, the script will let you know.

At runtime, LTTng is not active by default (so you can leave it in your programs with no impact). To collect trace data, you need to start an LTTng session. In this package, in, a simple configuration script is included.

For even easier usage, with automatic data conversion, check out the tracetools_analysis package. It provides a Python API for easy definition, execution and analysis of tracing experiments.


This package is open-sourced under the Apache-2.0 license. See the LICENSE file for details.

For a list of other open source components included in this package, see the file 3rd-party-licenses.txt.



Want to contribute? Great! You can do so through the standard GitHub pull request model. For large contributions we do encourage you to file a ticket in the GitHub issues tracking system prior to any code development to coordinate with the tracetools development team early in the process. Coordinating up front helps to avoid frustration later on. Please do ...

Your contribution must be licensed under the Apache-2.0 license, the license used by this project.

Include a copyright notice and license in each new file to be contributed, consistent with the style used by this project. If your contribution contains code under the copyright of a third party, document its origin, license, and copyright holders.

Sign your work

This project tracks patch provenance and licensing using a modified Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO; from OSDL) and Signed-off-by tags initially developed by the Linux kernel project.

tracetool Developer's Certificate of Origin.  Version 1.0

By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:


(a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I
    have the right to submit it under the "Apache License, Version 2.0"


(b) The contribution is based upon previous work that is covered by
    an appropriate open source license and I have the right under
    that license to submit that work with modifications, whether
    created in whole or in part by me, under the Apache-2.0 license;


(c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other
    person who certified (a) or (b) and I have not modified it.


    I understand and agree that this project and the contribution
    are public and that a record of the contribution (including all
    metadata and personal information I submit with it, including my
    sign-off) is maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed
    consistent with this project and the requirements of the Apache-2.0
    license or any open source license(s) involved, where they are

(3) I am granting the contribution to this project under the terms of

With the sign-off in a commit message you certify that you authored the patch or otherwise have the right to submit it under an open source license. The procedure is simple: To certify above tracetools Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.0 for your contribution just append a line

Signed-off-by: Random J Developer <>

to every commit message using your real name or your pseudonym and a valid email address.

If you have set your and git configs you can automatically sign the commit by running the git-commit command with the -s option. There may be multiple sign-offs if more than one developer was involved in authoring the contribution.

For a more detailed description of this procedure, please see SubmittingPatches which was extracted from the Linux kernel project, and which is stored in an external repository.

Individual vs. Corporate Contributors

Often employers or academic institution have ownership over code that is written in certain circumstances, so please do due diligence to ensure that you have the right to submit the code.

If you are a developer who is authorized to contribute to tracetools on behalf of your employer, then please use your corporate email address in the Signed-off-by tag. Otherwise please use a personal email address.

Each contributor is responsible for identifying themselves in the NOTICE file, the project's list of copyright holders and authors. Please add the respective information corresponding to the Signed-off-by tag as part of your first pull request.

If you are a developer who is authorized to contribute to tracetools on behalf of your employer, then add your company / organization to the list of copyright holders in the NOTICE file. As author of a corporate contribution you can also add your name and corporate email address as in the Signed-off-by tag.

If your contribution is covered by this project's DCO's clause "(c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other person who certified (a) or (b) and I have not modified it", please add the appropriate copyright holder(s) to the NOTICE file as part of your contribution.