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Linux finally gets a blue screen of death

by on17 June 2024

Apparently it is what Linux fanboys always wanted

After mocking Windows Blue Screens of Death for decades, it seems that Linux fanboys actually wanted one—and now Linux 6.10 will finally bring them one.

For all the mock, the Blue Screen of Death did have its uses for Linux especially when building a kernel without VT/FBCON support where viewing the kernel panic message was not easily available

After being talked about for years of DRM panic handling and coming with a "Blue Screen of Death" solution for DRM/KMS drivers, Linux 6.10 is introducing a new DRM panic handler infrastructure for being able to display a message when a panic occurs.

According to Phoronix, the initial DRM Panic code has landed, as has wiring up the DRM/KMS driver support for the SimpleDRM, MGAG200, IMX, and AST drivers.

Work is underway on extending DRM Panic support to other drivers, which will appear over coming kernel cycles for more widespread support.

For those curious about what DRM Panic can look like in action, Red Hat engineer Javier Martinez Canillas shared a photo of the DRM Panic "Blue Screen of Death". A BeaglePlay single-board computer was used, and Javier posted to Mastodon an example implementation.

It's simple and to the point. In the future, some operating systems could extend it by using QR codes for kernel error messages and other efforts to present more technical information while still being user-friendly.

On Linux 6.10+ platforms with the DRM Panic driver support, this "Blue Screen of Death" functionality can be tested via a route such as echo c > /proc/sysrq-trigger.

Last modified on 17 June 2024
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