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Kernel space: kerneloops, read-mostly, and I/O port 80

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Linux

Kerneloops. Triage is an important part of a kernel developer's job. A project as large and as widely-used as the kernel will always generate more bug reports than can be realistically addressed in the amount of time which is available. So developers must figure out which reports are most deserving of their attention. Sometimes the existence of an irate, paying customer makes this decision easy. Other times, though, it is a matter of making a guess at which bugs are affecting the largest numbers of users. And that often comes down to how many different reports have come in for a given problem.

Of course, counting reports is not the easiest thing to do, especially if they are not all sent to the same place. In an attempt to make this process easier, Arjan van de Ven has announced a new site at kerneloops.org. Arjan has put together some software which scans certain sites and mailing lists for posted kernel oops output; whenever a crash is found, it is stuffed into a database. Then an attempt is made to associate reports with each other based on kernel version and the call trace; from that, a list of the most popular ways to crash can be created. As of this writing, the current fashion for kernel oopses would appear to be in ieee80211_tx() in current development kernels. Some other information is stored with the trace; in particular, it is possible to see what the oldest kernel version associated with the problem is.

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