User Guide

Installation

Please, see how to Get Tracer.

Standard usage

Standard way to use tracer is just running the sudo tracer command. I am working on user-only mode, but in this moment it runs only with root permissions (It needs access to your package manager’s history). There you can see the output:

$[FrostyX  ~]-> sudo tracer
You should restart:
  * Some applications using:
      sudo service apache2 restart
      sudo service mpd restart

  * These applications manually:
      chromium
      dolphin
      gvim

Additionally to those process above, there are:
  - 6 processes requiring restarting your session (i.e. Logging out & Logging in again)
  - 2 processes requiring reboot

As you can see, It hides few kinds of applications to not bothering you with such that you can’t control. But of course, if you want, you can see them all, use the -a or --all parameter.

Helpers

You got list of applications, but what next. There is -s or --show parameter for showing some handy informations. It displays package owning this application, what user started it and when, its PID and recommended way, how to restart it. When you want to print helpers for all affected applications, you can use --helpers parameter.

$[FrostyX  ~]-> tracer -s apache2
* apache2
    Package:     www-servers/apache
    Description: The Apache Web Server.
    Type:        Daemon
    State:       apache2 has been started by root 34 minutes ago. PID - 18816

    How to restart:
         service apache2 restart

Helpers for custom application can be defined in /etc/tracer/applications.xml & ~/.config/tracer/applications.xml. If you have any objections to the described way how to restart it, please create an issue.

Interactive mode

Printing helper for specific application is handy but not for every situation. For instance it can be little awkward to call tracer -s app_name a lot of specific applications. That would be lot of boring and senseless typing so I am introducing interactive mode to you.

When you use -i or --interactive, tracer will print number next to every application. Then you will be asked for input. That is simple way how to iterate through helpers for all applications.

$[FrostyX  ~]-> sudo tracer -i
[1] gvim
[2] mpd
[3] dolphin
[4] apache2

Press application number for help or 'q' to quit
--> 2
* mpd
    Package:     media-sound/mpd
    Description: The Music Player Daemon (mpd)
    Type:        Daemon
    State:       mpd has been started by frostyx 23 hours ago. PID - 3751

    How to restart:
         service mpd restart

-- Press enter to get list of applications --

Verbose

Like most of UNIX programs, even tracer has verbose mode. It provides three levels of chattiness.

Non-verbose mode

$[FrostyX  ~]-> sudo tracer -s gvim
* gvim
    Package:     app-editors/gvim
    Description: GUI version of the Vim text editor
    Type:        Application
    State:       gvim has been started by frostyx 2 hours ago. PID - 8431

    How to restart:
        Sorry, It's not known

First verbose level

$[FrostyX  ~]-> sudo tracer -s gvim -v
* gvim
    Package:     app-editors/gvim
    Description: GUI version of the Vim text editor
    Type:        Application
    State:       gvim has been started by frostyx 2 hours ago. PID - 8431

    Affected by:
        gnome-base/gvfs
        x11-libs/libX11

    How to restart:
        Sorry, It's not known

Second verbose level

$[FrostyX  ~]-> sudo tracer -s gvim -vv
* gvim
    Package:     app-editors/gvim
    Description: GUI version of the Vim text editor
    Type:        Application
    State:       gvim has been started by frostyx 2 hours ago. PID - 8431

    Affected by:
        gnome-base/gvfs
            /usr/lib/gvfs/libgvfscommon.so
            /usr/lib/gio/modules/libgioremote-volume-monitor.so
            /usr/lib/gio/modules/libgvfsdbus.so
        x11-libs/libX11
            /usr/lib/libX11.so
            /usr/lib/libX11-xcb.so

    How to restart:
        Sorry, It's not known

Distro-specific candy

Fedora - DNF plugin

There is plugin for new fedora package manager - DNF. It calls tracer after every successful transaction. Please note that it checks only packages in actual transaction, so if you run tracer from command line, you can actually get longer list.

If you want this feature, install the plugin package. Please notice that there are two of them. For F21 and higher install the dnf-plugins-extras-tracer. If you are still using F20, please install dnf-plugin-tracer, but be aware that this package is obsoleted and will be no new versions of it.

$[FrostyX  ~]-> sudo dnf update vim-X11
...
Running transaction
  Upgrading    : vim-common-2:7.4.179-1.fc20.i686                           1/6
  Upgrading    : vim-X11-2:7.4.179-1.fc20.i686                              2/6
  Upgrading    : vim-enhanced-2:7.4.179-1.fc20.i686                         3/6
  ...

Upgraded:
  vim-X11.i686 2:7.4.179-1.fc20           vim-common.i686 2:7.4.179-1.fc20
  vim-enhanced.i686 2:7.4.179-1.fc20

You should restart:
  gvim

Done!

If you can’t see tracer section in your output, make sure that in your /etc/dnf/dnf.conf is not plugins=0 or specified pluginpath to different than default directory.

Error occured

Some weird error occured! What should I do? Please keep calm and read it. There should be information what can be wrong and how you can deal with it. For instance

frostyx@kubuntu:~$ sudo tracer
You are running unsupported linux distribution

Please visit https://github.com/FrostyX/tracer/issues
and create new issue called 'Unknown or unsupported linux distribution: Ubuntu' if there isn't such.

Don't you have an GitHub account? Please report this issue on frostyx@email.cz

There is little possibility that you can encounter different type of error. Something like this

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/tracer", line 169, in <module>
    main()
  File "/usr/local/bin/tracer", line 56, in main
    if args.interactive: _print_all_interactive(processes)
  File "/usr/local/bin/tracer", line 88, in _print_all_interactive
    answer = raw_input("--> ")

It is python traceback. My apologies, you shouldn’t see it. The best thing you can do, is openning new issue in tracer’s issue tracker. Please describe how can I reproduce this issue or what did you do when error occured. Please post complete error message too.

Troubleshooting

Only root can use this application

As I described above, tracer works only with root permissions so far.

You are running unsupported linux distribution

Please read rest of that message. It describes what you can do