Nov 16, 2010


dbus-dump is a tool to capture D-Bus messages in a libpcap capture file.

It takes an idea from dbus-scrape, which processes a strace output of dbus-monitor, and takes it further by stracing dbus-daemon, thus not relying on any eavesdropping (mis)configuration.

The intended purpose is to establish the libpcap capture format as a base for debugging tools like

Thanks to Will Thompson for mentioning the pcap idea.


$ sudo strace -p `pgrep -f 'dbus-daemon --system'` \
    -s 3000 -ttt -xx -o foo.strace
$ ./dbus-dump foo.strace foo.pcap
$ ./dbus-pcap-parse foo.pcap
Tue Nov 16 12:56:47 +0100 2010 #<DBus::Message:0xb741f340
Tue Nov 16 12:56:47 +0100 2010 #<DBus::Message:0xb741b060


It is written in Ruby. The pcap format is handled by a small bundled module. dbus-dump has no other dependencies. dbus-pcap-parse uses ruby-dbus.


This is an early proof-of-concept release, serving to introduce the libpcap format.

The main problem of dbus-dump is duplicating the messages, seeing them both when the daemon receives them and when it sends them (multiple times, for the signals).

The other tools haven't caught up yet:

$ /usr/sbin/tcpdump -r foo.pcap
reading from file foo.pcap, link-type 231
tcpdump: unknown data link type 231

Nov 9, 2010

ruby-dbus 0.5.0 is a Gem with Errors

I have made a new release of ruby-dbus, a Ruby language binding for the D-Bus IPC system.
The main feature is a better binding of Ruby Exceptions to D-Bus Errors. See below for an excerpt of the documentation.
Perhaps more importantly, the library is now primarily packaged as a RubyGem (Issue#6). Also I converted the tutorial from Webgen to Markdown.
Bug fixes:
  • Don't pass file descriptors to subprocesses, they would not let go of the service name.
  • Fixed InterfaceElement::validate_name (Ticket#38, by Herwin Weststrate).
  • Fixed a typo in InvalidDestinationName description (Ticket#40).
RPMs can be found via openSUSE Build Service Search.


D-Bus calls can reply with an error instead of a return value. An error is translated to a Ruby exception.
rescue DBus::Error => e
    puts e unless == "org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.AlreadyAsleepOrAwake"

Replying with an error

To reply to a dbus_method with a D-Bus error, raise a DBus::Error, as constructed by the error convenience function:
raise DBus.error("org.example.Error.SeatOccupied"), "Seat #{seat} is occupied"
If the error name is not specified, the generic org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.Failed is used.
raise DBus.error, "Seat #{seat} is occupied"
raise DBus.error