Zack's Kernel News

Zack's Kernel News

Article from Issue 281/2024

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

How the Sausage Is Made

During a power outage, if your Linux system is fed directly from the wall, it's going to shut down right then and there. Normally the kernel goes through a sophisticated power-down operation whenever you turn it off to make sure all of your delicate hardware is handled properly. So, is it actually OK to simply cut the power like that?

Not really. Oleksij Rempel recently pointed out that some hardware (such as disk drives) can experience data corruption when unceremoniously shut down, or in some cases break completely. He posted a patch to rank hardware in order of priority so that in the event of a sudden power loss, certain hardware (such as multimedia devices) might use those few fractions of a second to get into a safe state before the end.

Greg Kroah-Hartman took one look at Oleksij's email and saw a dark and painful future filled with hardware manufacturers engaging in bitter warfare over whose products deserved the highest priority in the Linux shutdown sequence.


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