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Kernel Panic in Linux

Started by sivakalyan, 2006-03-13T15:49:26-06:00 (Monday)

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Can anyone tell me the various situations in which a 'kernel panic' can occur in Linux.


Peter Motyka

That Apple doc would be applicable to BSD-based Unix systems since OS X is a varient of FreeBSD.

WikiPedia says:
In Linux, a "panic" is an unrecoverable system error detected by the kernel as opposed to similar errors detected by user space code. It is possible for kernel code to indicate such a condition by calling the panic function located in the header file sys/system.h. However, most panics are the result of unhandled processor exceptions in kernel code, such as references to invalid memory addresses. These are typically indicative of a bug somewhere in the call chain leading to the panic. They can also indicate a failure of hardware, such as a failed RAM cell or errors in arithmetic functions in the processor caused by a processor bug or overheating/damaged processor.

SIUE CS Alumni 2002
Grad Student, Regis University
Senior Engineer, Ping Identity


Thanks a lot for the replies.

Is there any way that a kernel panic might occur due to boot problems?? (like some problem in GRUB etc...)


William Grim

No, grub would not cause a kernel panic unless it failed to reconfigure the 8259A microcontroller to other interrupts, overwrote a part of the kernel after loading it, etc.  Since this is all pretty routine stuff that happens all the time and has a set pattern, grub is highly unlikely to be the problem.

As far as getting a panic on boot, it could be a number of things.  Get a core dump and analyze it with gdb instead of guessing.
William Grim
IT Associate, Morgan Stanley