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A tool for executing commands based on strace output

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Build Status PyPI version

straceexec is a python script that allows for playback and analysis of execve commands from strace logs. This is useful for debugging commands embedded several layers deep with significant automated setup. One specific use case would be debugging specific commands from a build system that setup many environment variables or have complex command line invocations.


# strace -f -v -s 10000 -o strace.log ninja
# straceexec strace.log
0: ninja -:ENV:- LANG=en_US.UTF-8 USERNAME=ddedrick SHELL=/bin/bash output=default GDM_LANG=en_US.UTF EDITOR=vimx PATH=/u
1: /bin/sh -c /usr/lib64/ccache/cc -Dfoo_EXPORTS  -fPIC -MD -MT CMakeFiles/foo.dir/foo.c.o -MF CMakeFiles/foo.dir/foo.c.o
2: /usr/lib64/ccache/cc -Dfoo_EXPORTS -fPIC -MD -MT CMakeFiles/foo.dir/foo.c.o -MF CMakeFiles/foo.dir/foo.c.o.d -o CMakeF
3: /bin/sh -c : && /usr/lib64/ccache/cc -fPIC    -shared -Wl,-soname, -o CMakeFiles/foo.dir/fo
4: /usr/lib64/ccache/cc -fPIC -shared -Wl,-soname, -o CMakeFiles/foo.dir/foo.c.o -:ENV:- LANG=
5: /usr/bin/cc -fPIC -shared -Wl,-soname, -o CMakeFiles/foo.dir/foo.c.o -:ENV:- LANG=en_US.UTF
6: /usr/libexec/gcc/x86_64-redhat-linux/8/collect2 -plugin /usr/libexec/gcc/x86_64-redhat-linux/8/ -plugi
7: /usr/bin/ld -plugin /usr/libexec/gcc/x86_64-redhat-linux/8/ -plugin-opt=/usr/libexec/gcc/x86_64-redhat
8: /bin/sh -c /usr/bin/cmake -E cmake_symlink_library && : -:ENV:- LANG=en_US.UTF-
9: /usr/bin/cmake -E cmake_symlink_library -:ENV:- LANG=en_US.UTF-8 USERNAME=ddedri
Enter the number of the command you would like to execute
	Append an n to not copy the environment
	Append a p to print the full command and exit
	Append a g to run under gdb
Select: 1

strace output should be collected with -v to ensure that arguments are not left off and -s with a sufficiently large size so that they are not truncated.

By default the command will be run and will have the same environment setup as is found in the strace output. Several options are available for modifying this behavior. Appending an n will use the current environment instead of the one present in the strace log. Appending a p will not exec the command but instead print it in full along with its environment. Appending a g will start start up gdb with the executable, arguments, and environment already setup. Appending an s will generate a script named that will set the environment and run the the command.


Contributions, issues, and feature requests are welcome. Feel free to open pull requests or issues as needed.


Written by Dan Dedrick to simplify isolating, reproducing and tweaking build system issues.


straceexec is distributed under the MIT license. See the included LICENSE file for details.

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