Microsoft has announced it is working to port tools from its Sysinternals utility suite to Linux. The suite of applications has gained an almost legendary status amongst Windows system administrators.
Yesterday, Microsoft employee David Fowler announced the release of the first Sysinternals tool for Linux, process dump creation utility ProcDump. Microsoft executive Mario Hewardt, Principal Program Manager for Azure diagnostics also confirmed that other apps are in the works, including Sysinternals’ famed ProcMon process monitoring utility.
Sysinternals was originally developed by an independent company, Winternals. It began life in 1996 and has grown into an extensive catalogue of free Windows management tools, allowing admins to monitor Windows’ internal file, networking and processing operations. The suite also assists developers in debugging Windows applications and aids security researchers in tracking the activities of malware.
Microsoft acquired Winternals in 2006, bringing the Sysinternals suite in-house. Winternals cofounder Mark Russinovich is now the chief technical officer (CTO) of Microsoft’s Azure cloud division.
The move to bring Sysinternals to Linux is significant for Microsoft in its ongoing pivot to the cloud. Under CEO Satya Nadella, the company has moved to embrace the wider cloud ecosystem beyond its own Windows infrastructure. That’s meant increased investment in supporting Linux systems across Windows and Azure, giving developers more options when choosing their technology stacks.
These efforts have paid off. In September, Scott Guthrie, Microsoft executive vice president of cloud and enterprise, told ZDNet that half of all Azure virtual machines now run Linux. That figure has increased from just 20 percent in 2015. Without the increased support for Linux on Azure, many of those VMs may have been created on competing clouds instead.
The porting of Sysinternals to Linux is another way for Microsoft to increase its hospitality towards Linux developers and workloads. Developers will be able to use familiar Sysinternals tools on both Windows and Linux systems, removing the need to learn two applications.
ProcDump is just the first application to become available. Its functionality revolves around creating program dumps when certain conditions are met. Developers can set up criteria to automatically create a process dump, such as when CPU usage exceeds 50%. The resulting data can be invaluable in determining why the application is consuming so much processor time.
The Linux version of the ProcDump application is open-source and available for download now. Installation instructions can be found in the GitHub repository. There are currently a few limitations when compared to the Windows version but the core of ProcDump is already functioning.