Re: 3.0 wishlist Was: Overview of 2.2.x goals?

John Alvord (
Mon, 19 Jan 1998 16:57:43 -0500 (EST)

On Mon, 19 Jan 1998, Dan Hollis wrote:

> On Mon, 19 Jan 1998, Richard Guy Briggs wrote:
> > > Thats all I can think of right now.. I'm sure there are many more things
> > > that I would feel nessassary in a 3.0 release.. I'm sure others can add..
> > How about a kernel panic core memory dump to disk for forensic research?
> The current logic behind not doing this in linux is that since its
> impossible to do it perfectly (e.g. 100% foolproof under all situations),
> it shouldnt be done at all. (Still, BSD manages to do it).
A couple weeks ago, Linus stated quite clearly that he disliked crash
dumps because they led to a style of fault repair which often fixed the
symptom instead of fixing the problem. By giving less information, a
programmer was forced to understand the problem, instead of patching it

I understand that viewpoint. I have seen my sahre of lousey fixes.

On the other side, a crash dump can be extremely useful in tracking down
ill-system situations. The system is running slower and slower... or
everything is stopped but the mouse... or a storage creep has eaten up
half the storage in a week. A crash dump, with suitable diagnostics, can
reveal problem situations which do not result in immediate faults.

I think a crash dump facility would help accelerate progress in solving
the more mature problems which are showing up recently.

john alvord

p.s. I spent years on a dump analysis tool in a former life.