Intel® Trace Analyzer and Collector User and Reference Guide

ID 767272
Date 3/31/2023
Document Table of Contents

Defining and Recording Source Locations

Source locations can be specified and recorded in two different contexts:

  • State changes, associating a source location with the state change. This is useful to record where a function has been called, or where a code region begins and ends.
  • Communication events, associating a source location with calls to MPI functions, for example, calls to the send/receive or collective communication and I/O functions.

To minimize instrumentation overhead, locations for the state changes and communication events are referred to by integer location handles that can be defined by calling the API function VT_scldef(), which will automatically assign a handle. A source location is a pair of a filename and a line number within that file.


int VT_scldef (const char * file, int line_nr, int * sclhandle)


Allocates a handle for a source code location (SCL).


VTSCLDEF(file, line_nr, sclhandle, ierr)


file file name
line_nr line number in this file, counting from 1

Return values

sclhandle the integer it points to is set by Intel Trace Collector

Returns error code

Some functions require a location handle, but they all accept VT_NOSCL instead of a real handle:

#define VT_NOSCL

Special SCL handle — no location available.


int VT_sclstack (void * pc, void * stackframe, int skip, int trace, int * sclhandle)


Allocates a handle for a source code location (SCL) handle which refers to the current call stack.

This SCL can then be used in several API calls without having to repeat the stack unwinding each time. Which stack frames are preserved and which are skipped is determined by the PCTRACE configuration option, but can be overridden with function parameters.

Special support is available for recording source code locations from inside signal handlers by calling this function with the pc and stackframe parameters different from NULL. Other usages of these special parameters include:

  • Remembering the stack frame in those API calls of a library that are invoked directly by the application, then at arbitrary points in the library do stack unwinding based on that stack frame to catch just the application code

  • Defining a source code location ID for a specific program counter value

Here is a usage example of this call inside a library that implements a message send:

void MySend(struct *msg) {
   int sclhandle;
   VT_sclstack( NULL, NULL, // we use the default stack unwinding
         1,       // MySend() is called directly by the
                  // application code we want to trace:
                  // skip our own source code, but not
                  // more
         -1,      // default PCTRACE setting for size
                  // of recorded stack
         &sclhandle );
   // if an error occurs, we continue with the sclhandle == VT_NOSCL
   // that VT_sclstack() sets
   VT_enter( funchandle,
         sclhandle );
   VT_log_sendmsg( msg->receiver,
                  sclhandle );
   // do the send here
   VT_leave( sclhandle );


pc record the source code of this program counter value as the innermost call location, then continue with normal stack unwinding; NULL if only stack unwinding is to be used
stackframe start unwinding at this stack frame, NULL for starting with the stack frame of VT_sclstack() itself: on Intel® 64 architecture the stack frame is found in the RBP register

-1: get the number of stack frames to skip from the PCTRACE configuration option

0: first recorded program counter value after the (optional) pc address is the return address of the initial stack frame

>0: skip the given number of return addresses


-1: get the number of stack frames to record from the PCTRACE configuration option

0: do not record any source code locations for the call stack: returns an SCL ID for the pc address if one is given, otherwise returns VT_NOSCL immediately

>0: the number of stack frames to record

Return values

sclhandle points to the integer set by Intel® Trace Collector to a valid SCL handle in case of success and VT_NOSCL otherwise

Returns error code

Intel Trace Collector automatically records all available information about MPI calls. On some systems, the source location of these calls is automatically recorded. On the other systems, the source location of MPI calls can be recorded by calling the VT_thisloc() function immediately before the call to the MPI function, with no intervening MPI or Intel Trace Collector API calls.


int VT_thisloc (int sclhandle)


Sets source code location for next activity that is logged by Intel Trace Collector.

After being logged it is reset to the default behavior again: automatic PC tracing if enabled in the configuration file, and supported or no SCL otherwise.


VTTHISL(sclhandle, ierr)


sclhandle handle defined either with VT_scldef()