Linux kernel contributors including the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) today unveiled serviceability improvements including new kdump and SystemTap features.
The kdump enhancements are designed to improve the ability of distributions to quickly create crash dumps that can be analysed offline, while new SystemTap features aim to improve debugging and performance analysis of production systems.
"Improvements like these really are a result of the kernel development community's focus and commitment," said Linux kernel maintainer Andrew Morton.
"Kdump is especially significant since it represents the first crash dump tool accepted into the mainline kernel and we expect it to be really valuable for the kernel development team, permitting us to gather detailed information regarding kernel bugs from our worldwide testing team."
He added that, although system crashes are rare in large production systems, when one occurs it is critical that a crash dump is created reliably and that it can be debugged after the fact.
The SystemTap improvements give IT managers, system administrators and developers the ability to debug a running system in a real-time environment.
The tweaks add the capability to debug production systems without performance degradation or recompiling.
Other new features include rich scripting language, built-in safety for production systems, and system-level performance analysis and debugging.
The improvements are the result of a community effort facilitated by OSDL with contributions from Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel, NEC, Novell, NTT, Red Hat and VA Linux.
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