Zack's Kernel News

Zack's Kernel News

Article from Issue 278/2024

Chronicler Zack Brown reports on avoiding bloat in the Kernel that does everything, and particularly odd occurrences of Stardust.

Avoiding Bloat in the Kernel That Does Everything

Sometimes prospective features are useful, and sometimes they're not. Sometimes they're useful, but only to a very specific set of users that somehow straddle the divide between first- and second-class citizens. These special users are the kernel developers themselves.

Steven Rostedt recently posted a patch that would generate a permanent file in the TraceFS filesystem. The file would identify the directory entries (dentries) and their reference counts, for dynamic file creation in the EventFS filesystem. Steven pointed to a recent debugging session where part of the debugging process involved creating such a file. He felt it would be useful for future debugging to have such a file available by default.

There followed a fascinating exchange between Linus Torvalds and Steven. Linus's take on the situation was that "this is neither a bug-fix, nor does it seem to make any sense at all in the main tree. This really feels like a 'temporary debug patch for tracing developers'."


Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Kernel News

    Chronicler Zack Brown reports on the NOVA filesystem, making system calls userspace only, and extending module support to plain executables. 

  • Lockdown Mode

    Lockdown mode makes your Linux system more secure and even prevents root users from modifying the kernel.

  • Kernel News

    Chronicler Zack Brown reports on the latest news, views, dilemmas, and developments within the Linux kernel community.

  • Meltdown and Spectre

    The blatant security holes known as Meltdown and Spectre, which are built into the computer hardware, are likely to keep us busy for the next few years. How is the Linux community addressing this unexpected challenge?

  • Kernel News

    Zack covers: When a Security Hole Is OK; Kernel Documentation Updates; and Security Through Obscurity

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More