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This paper describes a newly developed dual-channel linear optical sampling technique for observing ultrafast optical differential phase-shift keying (DPSK) signals. As the proposed measurement scheme offsets two parallel interferometers by a relative delay corresponding to 1-symbol length of the DPSK signal, the measured phase distribution reflects the signal quality which is determined by the phase difference between adjacent symbols. This technique, based on interferometric optical gating by local short-pulses, also offers ultrafast measurement at symbol rates of greater than 100 Gsymbol/s. Moreover, its detection sensitivity can reach the shot noise limit. The waveform degradation caused by the coherence of the light source and the pattern effect of the phase modulator is successfully observed in continuous waves and 10-Gsymbol/s nonreturn-to-zero DPSK signals, and the constellation measurement is demonstrated for a 160-Gsymbol/s return-to-zero DPSK signal. Measurement system noise is also discussed for characterizing the detection sensitivity, and the nearly shot-noise-limited performance is experimentally verified.