[svlug] Code walkthrough notes

Larry Colen lrc at red4est.com
Thu Nov 8 23:50:55 PST 2007

On Thu, Nov 08, 2007 at 11:49:13PM -0700, Kristian Erik Hermansen wrote:
# >    Kernel debugging (gdb extensions?)
# kdb + crash + serial console?


Back in 2000 I worked on a kernel hacking project where the other guy
on the project had added the serial console kernel debugging
extensions. I didn't do it, so I didn't get the details, it just
magically worked for me. 

One cool thing that I did, was do most of my debugging on a virtual
machine running under VMWare. I ran a cable from the host machine's
serial port to the target machine's serial port.

It worked wonderfully. I could "checkpoint" my debugging
progress. Save state. And when the target crashed, I didn't crash my
dev box.

# > When Paul asked for discussion topics, I suggest starting with high
# > level structure. He asked me to layout what I consider to be the
# > primary structural elements, so here's my quick and dirty outline. I
# > highly encourage people to post their suggestions as to a better list.
# >
# >   Scheduler
# >   Memory Management
# >   File System
# >   Device Drivers
# >   Networking
# >   Boot / init
# >   Interrupt handling
# >   ipc
# >   system calls
# * Protection and security mechanisms to protect against hostile local users?
# * System calls and kernel interfaces?
# * Mechanisms to protect against syscall/kern proxying (interface
# shims) by malicious code?
# * Virtual computing and why Xen has been so intrusive (xen-patches in
# mainline), while kvm is not (very few kvm patches)?
# * Threading implementation and issues?
# * SMP details?
# * Most efficient ways to debug OOPS and AIEEEEE!!!   ??????
# * 64-bit specific issues?
# * Real-time kernel optimizations?
# * How to slim the kernel for cell phones, mobiles devices, and embedded systems?
# * Micro-kernel versus macro-kernel :-)

A lot of these are good and useful things to know about. But, some of
them are esoteric, or specialized enough that we may want to hold off
going into details, unless we get someone who knows a lot about some
of them who wants to volunteer to talk about them.

       Too much of a good thing is better than too much of a bad thing.
Larry Colen             lrc at red4est.com            http://www.red4est.com/lrc

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