I have an RHEL 5 system:

[root@myhost ~]# cat /etc/redhat-release 
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.11 (Tikanga)

When I run dmesg, I get a strange and disconcerting message:

[root@myhost ~]# dmesg | grep -i worm
Worm initializing...<1>done.

What does this message mean and where does it come from?

Here is the full dmesg output.

1 Answer 1


This message is generated by a kernel module called worm:

[myhost ~]% lsmod | grep worm
worm                   39172  0 
[myhost ~]% grep "Worm initializing..." /usr/diags/kernmods/worm/worm.c
    printk(KERN_ALERT "Worm initializing...");

From the comments in the module source code:

worm.c -- x86 Linux wormhole driver for diagnostics for 2.2.x Kernels

This kernel module is provided by the field_diags_xe_x86 package, which provides diagnostic tools for SGI hardware:

[myhost ~]% rpm -qf /usr/diags/kernmods/worm/worm.c
[myhost ~]% rpm -qi field_diags_xe_x86-3.24-4a.x86_64
Name        : field_diags_xe_x86           Relocations: (not relocatable)
Version     : 3.24                              Vendor: SGI Inc.
Release     : 4a                            Build Date: Wed 05 Nov 2008 07:42:58 AM MST
Install Date: Thu 04 Dec 2008 11:29:46 AM MST      Build Host: hook.americas.sgi.com
Group       : Applications/System           Source RPM: field_diags_xe_x86-3.24-4a.src.rpm
Size        : 103026006                        License: SGI
Signature   : (none)
Packager    : Developer dsd on machine hook
URL         : http://wwwcf.americas.sgi.com/PUBLIC/diags/Menus/sn2mhome.html
Summary     : SGI Altix XE X86 Online Diagnostics
Description :
The SGI Altix XE X86 Online Diagnostics software package.

So this message in dmesg is not malicious, though the kernel module may be poorly named.

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