Open Bug 1341811 Opened 3 years ago Updated 1 year ago

Consider hooking pthread_create so that we can profile threads launched by libraries


(Core :: Gecko Profiler, defect)

Not set



Tracking Status
firefox54 --- affected


(Reporter: mstange, Unassigned)


(Blocks 1 open bug)


Threads launched by media libraries or WebRTC don't go through NS_NewNamedThread, so we don't automatically register them to the profiler.

We should investigate whether we can hook pthread_create (and the Windows equivalent) in order to automatically register all threads with the profiler.
Glandium had some ideas about this in Austin.
Flags: needinfo?(mh+mozilla)
Oh, my, this has been ni? for way too long. Sorry about that.

Windows is, interestingly, the easiest to handle. You just need a DllMain in one of our dlls (xul.dll), and have it handle the DLL_THREAD_ATTACH event. We have that in toolkit/library/nsDllMain.cpp.

On linux, we can export a pthread_create wrapper from our executable, but that won't catch all thread creations. Anything using the system call directly (and there may be) won't be caught. I guess that's still better than nothing?

On mac, we can wrap pthread_create, but that won't catch any threads created by system libraries, and there are. OTOH, OSX has APIs to enumerate all threads:
Flags: needinfo?(mh+mozilla)
Also note threads can be enumerated on linux by reading the directory entries in /proc/self/task. Arguably, on OSes where we can enumerate threads, we don't need to have them registered to the profiler.
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