The kernel of operating systems popularly known as Linux, or sometimes GNU/Linux.

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282
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Where is implemented the definitions of the kernel header files?

I am trying to understand how a function, say mkdir, works by looking at the kernel source. This is an attempt to understand the kernel internals and navigate between various functions. I know mkdir ...
105
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3answers
7k views

What does the Windows flag in the Linux logo of kernel 3.11 mean?

I've just installed kernel-3.11.0-1.fc20 for my Fedora 19 installation. During the rebooting progress, I saw the Linux logo with a Windows flag in it, what does it mean? The Fedora 19 is installed ...
72
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5answers
14k views

Why isn't Linux embraced as the official GNU kernel?

While I knew for quite some time the existence of Hurd, and its mission as the official GNU Operating System kernel, I was wondering how come Linux is not embraced as the official GNU kernel over the ...
32
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3answers
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Does the kernel have a main() function? [closed]

I am learning device drivers and Kernel programming. According to Jonathan Corbet's book, there is no main() function in device drivers. So I two questions: Why don't we need a main() function in ...
30
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7answers
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Why does mount require root privileges?

Why does Linux require that a user be root/using sudo/specifically authorized per mount in order to mount something? It seems like the decision as to whether to allow a user to mount something should ...
25
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7answers
16k views

Linux Kernel: Good beginners' tutorial

I'm interested in modifying the kernel internals, applying patches, handling device drivers and modules, for my own personal fun. Is there a comprehensive resource for kernel hacking, intended for ...
24
votes
1answer
573 views

What would be the best way to work around this glibc problem?

I administer a Gentoo Hardened box that uses file capabilities to eliminate most of the need for setuid-root binaries (e.g. /bin/ping has CAP_NET_RAW, etc). Infact, the only binary I have left is ...
23
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1answer
2k views

High CPU usage with CFS?

I asked a previous question to try and isolate the source of an increase in CPU usage when moving an application from RHEL 5 to RHEL 6. The analysis that I did for that seems to indicate that it is ...
20
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1answer
458 views

How to get started writing drivers?

I have a throw-away cheap laptop I'd like to twiddle around, a Thinkpad SL 500. What bothers me are two leds, the one for wireless connectivity, and the one for hibernation, which don't light up at ...
19
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2answers
911 views

What is the purpose of patches of the linux kernel?

For each Linux kernel version, there is a patch file available for download. For instance, linux-3.12.22 has a corresponding patch-3.12.22. What is the purpose of that patch? To always patch the ...
18
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3answers
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Linux: How to find the device driver used for a device?

If my target has one device connected and many drivers for that device loaded, how can I understand what device is using which driver?
15
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2answers
2k views

Who is responsible for the Linux kernel?

As of today, there are many Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo, Mint, Debian, etc. These distributions update at different cycles. Ubuntu seems to update its kernel weekly or monthly, ...
15
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5answers
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Can ps display only non kernel processes on Linux?

How can I ask ps to display only user processes and not kernel threads? See this question to see what I mean...
14
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2answers
1k views

The UEFI & SecureBoot impact, how severe?

I'm planning to buy a new laptop in the coming days, and I'm quite impressed with new, cool Ultrabooks. As a long-time GNU/Linux user, I'll of course install a distro of my choice on it. Chances are ...
13
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3answers
4k views

Does Android really use the same kernel as Linux?

I read from somewhere that Android uses the Linux Kernel. Is it really true? I thought the Linux Kernel was meant for desktop operating systems.
13
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3answers
2k views

How to tell Linux Kernel > 3.0 to completely ignore a failing disk?

I am asking this question here in the hope that some Linux-kernel guru can have an answer. This question has been asked on AskUbuntu and on SuperUser without answers: thinking better, it is really ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Given a git patch id, how to find out which kernel release contains it?

Assume I have some issue that was fixed by a recent patch to the official Linux git repository. I have a work around, but I’d like to undo it when a release happens that contains my the fix. I know ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Why there are many BSD systems but only one Linux kernel?

Why there are many BSD systems but only one Linux kernel? I wonder why BSD was forked many times, but no such thing with Linux.
12
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1answer
2k views

What happens in each step of the Linux kernel-building process?

I've read many tutorials about how to build custom kernels and boot Ubuntu using those kernels, and successfully followed the guides and booted custom kernels, but I have no understanding about what ...
12
votes
4answers
775 views

Linux on a 286?

I don't own a 286 nor do I intend to run Linux on one. However since the 286 has protected mode, why is it frequently stated that Linux requires a 386 CPU or higher? From ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How many actual developers work on the Linux Kernel

For a study I am doing I was asked how many actual developers commit on a typical kernel version. I know there is Linus Torvalds as the main developer, followed by many second main developers. ...
11
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4answers
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Can I create a virtual ethernet interface named eth0?

I am running Arch based on the Linux 3.10.5-1 kernel. The system uses the new de-facto naming conventions of ethernet interfaces enp*s* and wlp* etc. This is a problem however, as my educational ...
10
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2answers
753 views

What does a niceness value of (-) mean?

According to the man page, and wikipedia; nice ranges from -20 to 20. Yet when I run the following command, I find some processes have a non numerical value such as (-). See the sixth column from ...
10
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2answers
750 views

Observing a hard-disk write in kernel space (with drivers/modules)

Apologies in advance if this post is a bit dense/messy, but I'm having a hard time formulating it better... Basically, I would like to study what happens upon a hard disk write, and I'd like to know: ...
9
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3answers
523 views

kernel: Namespaces support

I am wondering what exactly the “Namespaces support” feature in the Linux kernel means. I am using kernel 3.11.1 (the newest stable kernel at this time). If I decide to disable it, will I notice any ...
9
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1answer
8k views

How to display kernel command line parameters?

In the grub.conf configuration file I can specify command line parameters that the kernel will use, i.e.: kernel /boot/kernel-3-2-1-gentoo root=/dev/sda1 vga=791 After booting a given kernel, is ...
9
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4answers
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enabling numa for Intel Core i7

In Linux kernel, the documentation for CONFIG_NUMA says: Enable NUMA (Non Uniform Memory Access) support. he kernel will try to allocate memory used by a CPU on the local memory controller of the ...
9
votes
2answers
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How to boot EFI kernel using QEMU (kvm)?

Hey guys I'm trying to emulate a EFI enviroment using QEMU (kmv), virtualbox takes 15 minutes to boot in EFI mode using archboot. Using legacy BIOS mode I can boot using this command: ...
9
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2answers
657 views

How does the system shutdown of a linux kernel work internally?

I have somehow an rough idea of how the userspace and init-system (be it classic init sysV /upstart/ systemd) work at system shutdown. (Essentially there is an order succession of "Stop!", "Please ...
8
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2answers
385 views

Why does the Linux kernel report “out of disk space” when in reality it is out of i-nodes

A friend of mine who likes programming in the Linux environment, but doesn't know much about the administration of Linux recently ran into a problem where his OS (Ubuntu) was reporting "out of disk ...
8
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4answers
4k views

Are FIFO, pipe & Unix domain socket the same thing in Linux kernel?

I heard that FIFOs are named pipes. And they have exactly the same semantics. On the other hand, I think Unix domain socket is quite similar to pipe (although I've never made use of it). So I wonder ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

minimal TCP MSS in Linux

The TCP MSS in Linux must be at least 88 (include/net/tcp.h): /* Minimal accepted MSS. It is (60+60+8) - (20+20). */ #define TCP_MIN_MSS 88U My question is: where did they come up with ...
8
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1answer
540 views

How is nice working?

sched_setscheduler says : All scheduling is preemptive: if a process with a higher static priority becomes ready to run, the currently running process will be preempted and ...
8
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2answers
125 views

How should I solicit feedback from a tree maintainer for patches sent to the lkml?

I have submitted a patch to the linux kernel that has gotten several reviews and gone through a couple iterations on the mailing list. It has been ACKed and reviewed by two developers, but they say ...
8
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1answer
3k views

Isolating cause of higher CPU usage on RHEL 6 vs RHEL 5

I'm currently looking to move our system from RHEL 5 to RHEL 6, but I've run into a snag with unexpectedly high CPU usage on the RHEL 6 machines. It appears that this may be due at least in some part ...
8
votes
3answers
15k views

Enabling IOMMU in the kernel for graphics card pass-through

Short question: How can I turn on the intel_iommu setting in the Linux kernel? I run a Debian host, using the grub2 bootloader. Documentation I've seen says to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst, which seems ...
8
votes
3answers
504 views

Using real time kernel headers to compile userspace code vs default headers

Per customer requirements, I installed CentOS 5.6 with the default kernel. With this kernel installed, the time.h file includes the #define CLOCK_MONOTONIC. Now, a real-time kernel was installed ...
7
votes
2answers
715 views

How exactly does printk work internally?

I know printf needs help from the OS to do its job. I also know printf does not work in the Linux source code as there is no library. And so we have printk for debugging. How does printk work ...
7
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2answers
243 views

Strange temporary network outage in Linux

I'm facing a very annoying problem that I noticed a week from now and for which I can't find an answer: my network suddenly stops responding, usually coming back exactly 25 seconds later. I was using ...
7
votes
2answers
158 views

Why should I build a custom kernel? [closed]

Several of my coworkers have been building custom kernels for their workstations and servers. What advantages/disadvantages are there to building a custom kernel? Why should I build a custom kernel? ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is the theoretical RAM limit for RHEL 6 128 TB and how is this determined?

I'm studying for RHCSA and am confused by a statement I came across in some training material: There is no practical maximum RAM, as theoretically, you could run 128 TB of RAM on RHEL 6. But ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

mptscsih: ioc0: task abort: SUCCESS (rv=2002) causes 30 seconds freezing

I/O to my software RAID6 often freezes for around 30 seconds after which everything is back to normal. After the freeze is over this is put into syslog: Mar 14 18:43:57 server kernel: [35649.816060] ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Can vmlinux be used instead of uImage?

I want to use an uncompressed kernel image and boot the BeagleBoard. Generally I use uImage to boot the kernel which is in compressed format. How do I use an uncompressed kernel image?
7
votes
1answer
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using devtmpfs for /dev

I have noticed the following option in the kernel: CONFIG_DEVTMPFS Device Drivers -> Generic Driver Options -> Maintain devtmpfs to mount at /dev And I see that it is enabled by default in ...
7
votes
1answer
96 views

Possible to see dead proccesses?

In man ps, it clearly states the different states a process can have on Linux. D Uninterruptible sleep (usually IO) R Running or runnable (on run queue) S Interruptible sleep (waiting for an ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to debug system freeze?

I'm experiencing strange bug when I close lid of my laptop - system freezes (no reaction on keys, no response form ssh) hard and displays some strange colour effects. The kernel log (after reboot) ...
7
votes
1answer
194 views

Why are cgroups mapped differently on these two systems by systemd

I have two systems, both running customized variants of OpenSuSE 12.2 (Mantis), both running exactly the same kernel. I get two very different outputs of /proc/self/cgroup or /proc/$$/cgroup on the ...
7
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2answers
2k views

What is the appropriate value of vm.swappiness when using zram?

I'm using zram on my computer as a compressed RAM-backed swap. When the system needs to swap something out, swapping it to a zram-backed swap file is more or less equivalent to compressing that data ...
7
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2answers
233 views

Linux /proc/sys/kernel: where are the files sysrq-sticky, sysrq-key, and sysrq-timer?

Documentation for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (section 5.3.9.3) mentions these files in /proc/sys/kernel/: sysrq sysrq-key sysrq-sticky sysrq-timer The documentation for RHEL 5 also mentions them. ...
6
votes
1answer
489 views

In what sense does SATA “talk” SCSI? How much is shared between SCSI and ATA?

This is nothing new to me at least, that SATA actually "talks" SCSI, hence why these SATA devices show up as SCSI devices in Linux. A related question has been asked before, e.g. Why do my SATA ...