Linux kernel gains serviceability features

New kdump and SystemTap features will help IT pros analyse crashes and debug systems in real time

The Linux kernel has been updated with several serviceability improvements, chiefly around the kdump and SystemTap features.

The kdump enhancements should improve the ability to reliably and quickly create crash dumps that can be analysed offline. The new SystemTap features enable IT professionals to debug a running system in real-time without affecting performance or recompiling.

"Kdump is especially significant since it represents the first crash dump tool accepted into the mainline kernel. 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," said Andrew Morton, one of the kernel maintainers.

Ron Pettit, initiative manager at the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs), added: "Because of the efforts of many individuals and companies from the Linux development community, users will gain important improvements to serviceability tools."

The features are now available in the main Linux distributions. Some of the largest contributors to the latest improvements include HP, IBM, Intel, Novell and Red Hat.