Linux kernel oops

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Linux kernel oops
Linux 2.4 oops sparc.png
Linux kernel oops on SPARC.
Linux kernel oops on PA-RISC with a dead ASCII cow.

In computing, an oops is a deviation from correct behavior of the Linux kernel - one which produces a certain error log. The better-known kernel panic condition results from many kinds of oops, but other instances of an oops event may allow continued operation with compromised reliability. The term does not stand for anything, other than that it is a simple mistake.

When the kernel detects a problem, it prints an oops message and kills any offending process. Linux kernel engineers can use the message to help debug the condition which created the oops and thus to fix the programming error which caused it.

The official Linux kernel documentation regarding oops messages resides in the file Documentation/oops-tracing.txt[1] of the kernel sources. Some logger configurations may affect the ability to collect oops messages.[2]

Once a system has experienced an oops, some internal resources may no longer be in service. Even if the system appears to work correctly, undesirable side effects may have resulted from the active task being killed. A kernel oops often leads on to a kernel panic once the system attempts to use resources which have been lost.

The kerneloops software can collect and submit kernel oopses to a repository such as the www.kerneloops.org website.[3] It provides statistics and public access to reported oopses.

For a person not familiar with technical details of computers and operating systems, an oops message might look confusing. Unlike other operating systems such as Windows or OS X, Linux chooses to present details explaining the crash of the kernel rather than display a simplified, user-friendly message.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

  • kdump (Linux) – Linux kernel's crash dump mechanism, which internally uses kexec
  • System.map – contains mappings between symbol names and their addresses in memory, used to interpret oopses

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]