Linux hangs on boot due to a bug in the kernel.  A researcher boots 290,000 times

The community open source he often stands out for his commitment and stubbornness in solving problems. This is particularly evident at the level of the kernel Linux, the heart of the operating system, responsible for managing hardware resources and executing processes. It is an open collaborative project that involves thousands of developers from all over the world. What if Linux hangs on boot due to a bug in the kernel it is a problem.

It is because Linux is used in billions of devices around the world: you may not know that Linux is used in these places. It is calculated that, one way or another, the Linux kernel is present on at least 3-3.5 billion devices.

Kernel bug: Linux hangs on boot

It rarely happens, but it does happen. With the kernel Linux 6.4the latest version being released, the Linux boot process may occasionally crash unexpectedly.

The developer and researcher who discovered the problem is called Richard WM Jones: he is one of the experts of Red Hat. He not only limited himself to pointing out the anomaly but also tried to reproduce it successfully.

First, Jones found that Linux can hang on boot when run inside of Qemu, open source software that provides a virtualization and emulation platform. Qemu is widely used to build and manage virtual machines on a large number of host operating systems.

Linux rebooted over 290,000 times in 21 hours to find the cause of a bug in the kernel

According to the researcher, the bug it only shows up on 1 in 1,000 boots and even less frequently when using Intel hardware. So to identify the problem, Jones ran the software guestfish in a loop until it detects any blockages during boot.

Guestfish is a command line based tool that allows you to access and manipulate file system within virtual machine images, making them easier to maintain and manage.

Jones has scheduled singles 10,000 start loop of the Linux machine using up to 8 threads per analyze the output and detect any blockage during boot.

The researcher was thus able to identify the cause of the problem between the v6.0 and v6.4-rc6 version of the Linux kernel. To prove it, Jones performed well 292,612 Linux system restarts (in just 21 hours) to confirm the technical reasons for the bug and how often it occurs.


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