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Rust support for Event Tracing for Windows (ETW)

Provides the #[trace_logging_provider] macro, which allows you to define a Trace Logging Provider for use with the Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) framework.

This macro is intended for use only when targeting Windows. When targeting other platforms, this macro will still work, but will generate code that does nothing.

This framework allows applications to log schematized events, rather than textual strings. ETW analysis tools can reliably identify fields within your events, and treat them as strongly-typed data, rather than text strings.

To use tracing with ETW, see tracing-etw.

How to create and use an event provider

In ETW, an event provider is a software object that generates events. Event controllers set up event logging sessions, and event consumers read and interpret event data. This crate focuses on enabling applications to create event providers.

Add crate dependencies

Add these dependencies to your Cargo.toml file:

win_etw_macros = "0.1.*"
win_etw_provider = "0.1.*"

win_etw_macros contains the procedural macro that generates eventing code. win_etw_provider contains library code that is called by the code that is generated by win_etw_macros.

Create a new GUID for your event provider

You must assign a new, unique GUID to each event provider. ETW uses this GUID to identify events that are generated by your provider. Windows contains many event providers, so it is important to be able to select only the events generated by your application. This GUID is also used internally by ETW to identify event metadata (field types), so it is important that your GUID be unique. Otherwise, events from conflicting sources that use the same GUID may be incorrectly interpreted.

There are many tools which can create a GUID, such as:

  • In Visual Studio, in the Tools menu, select "Create GUID".
  • From a Visual Studio command line, run uuidgen.exe.
  • From an Ubuntu shell, run uuidgen.

Many tools for working with events expect the provider's GUID to be based on the provider's name, and this technique is recommended by Microsoft. Some ways to generate a GUID compatible with these tools are:

  • PowerShell: [System.Diagnostics.Tracing.EventSource]::new("YourProviderName").Guid
  • Visual Studio 2022: From the "Debug" menu, select "Performance Profiler". Click the gear icon next to "Events Viewer". Under "Additional Providers", enter your "Provider Name", and "Provider GUID" will be automatically filled in.
  • In TraceView, from the "File" menu, select "Create New Log Session". Select "Manually Entered Control GUID or Hashed Name" and enter * followed by your provider name (e.g., *YourProviderName). Then, click "OK". In the "Format Information Source Select" window, select "Auto" and click "OK". The GUID will be displayed.
  • Additional tools and code are available in this StackOverflow post

Define the event provider and its events

Add a trait definition to your source code and annotate it with the #[trace_logging_provider(guid = "...")] macro, using the GUID that you just created. The trait definition is only used as input to the procedural macro; the trait is not emitted into your crate, and cannot be used as a normal trait.

The ETW provider name, in the ETW metadata, will be based on the trait name. This can be overridden by specifying a name explicitly in the provider attribute, such as #[trace_logging_provider(name = "YourNameHere")].

In the trait definition, add method signatures. Each method signature defines an event type. The parameters of each method define the fields of the event type. Only a limited set of field types are supported (enumerated below).

The #[trace_logging_provider] macro consumes the trait definition and produces a struct definition with the same name and the same method signatures. (The trait is not available for use as an ordinary trait.)

# use win_etw_macros::trace_logging_provider;
#[trace_logging_provider(guid = "... your guid here ...")]
pub trait MyAppEvents {
    fn http_request(client_address: &SockAddr, is_https: bool, status_code: u32, status: &str);
    fn database_connection_created(connection_id: u64, server: &str);
    fn database_connection_closed(connection_id: u64);
    // ...

Create an instance of the event provider

At initialization time (in your fn main(), etc.), create an instance of the event provider:

let my_app_events = MyAppEvents::new();

Your application should only create a single instance of each event provider, per process. That is, you should create a single instance of your event provider and share it across your process. Typically, an instance is stored in static variable, using a lazy / atomic assignment. There are many crates and types which can support this usage pattern.

Call event methods to report events

To report an event, call one of the methods defined on the event provider. The method will call into ETW to report the event, but there is no guarantee that the event is stored or forwarded; events can be dropped if event buffer resources are scarce.

my_app_events.client_connected(None, &"".parse(), false, 100, "OK");

Note that all generated event methods have an added first parameters, options: Option<&EventOptions>. This parameter allows you to override per-event parameters, such as the event level and event correlation IDs. In most cases, you should pass None.

Supported field types

Only a limited set of field types are supported.

  • Integer primitives up to 64 bits: i8, i16, i32, i64, u8, u16, u32, u64
  • Floating point primitives: f32, f64
  • Architecture-dependent sizes: usize, isize.
  • Boolean: bool
  • Slices of all of the supported primitives: &[u8], &[u16], etc.
  • Windows FILETIME. The type must be declared exactly as FILETIME; type aliases or fully-qualified paths (such as winapi::shared::minwindef::FILETIME) will not work. The parameter type in the generated code will be win_etw_provider::FILETIME, which is a newtype over u64.
  • std::time::SystemTime is supported, but it must be declared exactly as SystemTime; type aliases or fully-qualified paths (such as std::time::SystemTime) will not work.
  • SockAddr, SockAddrV4, and SockAddrV6 are supported. They must be declared exactly as shown, not using fully-qualified names or type aliases.

How to capture and view events

There are a variety of tools which can be used to capture and view ETW events. The simplest tool is the TraceView tool from the Windows SDK. Typically it is installed at this path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\bin\10.0.<xxxxx>.0\x64\traceview.exe, where <xxxxx> is the release number of the Windows SDK.

Run TraceView, then select "File", then "Create New Log Session". Select "Manually Entered GUID or Hashed Name" and enter the GUID that you have assigned to your event provider. Click OK. The next dialog will prompt you to choose a source of WPP format information; select Auto and click OK.

At this point, TraceView should be capturing events (for your assigned GUID) and displaying them in real time, regardless of which process reported the events.

These tools can also be used to capture ETW events:

  • Windows Performance Recorder This tool is intended for capturing system-wide event streams. It is not useful for capturing events for a specific event provider.
  • logman is a command-line tool for managing events.
  • Tracelog

There are other tools, such as the Windows Performance Recorder, which can capture ETW events.

Ideas for improvement

  • Better handling of per-event overrides, rather than using Option<&EventOptions>.



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This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.