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Thread: Kernel Developers Look At QR Codes For Error Messages

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  1. #1
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    Default Kernel Developers Look At QR Codes For Error Messages

    Phoronix: Kernel Developers Look At QR Codes For Error Messages

    Linux kernel developers have been discussing for the past few days about the possibility of encoding kernel oops messages into QR codes that would be shown on the screen...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTY1NjI

  2. #2
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    That's actually a pretty cool idea and would make error diagnosing a lot easier.

  3. #3
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    I smell an april fool, also, you need to the able to use QR codes for that.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calinou View Post
    I smell an april fool, also, you need to the able to use QR codes for that.
    Support for this sort of thing was added to Haiku (the BeOS clone) over a year ago.

    As for needing to be able to use QR Codes, I'm sure they'll add an option to turn it off. ...and if you don't know how to set a kernel option, you're much more likely to be able to scan a QR code than to do something useful with existing kernel oops dumps.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssokolow View Post
    Support for this sort of thing was added to Haiku (the BeOS clone) over a year ago.

    As for needing to be able to use QR Codes, I'm sure they'll add an option to turn it off. ...and if you don't know how to set a kernel option, you're much more likely to be able to scan a QR code than to do something useful with existing kernel oops dumps.
    It kinda makes sense imho, not as effective as providing full kernel dumps, but atm people really do take photos of kernel panic screens and post them on bugzilla/mailing list.
    This would be logical step forward, however there are problems to be worked out:

    1) QR codes version 25 can have about 1200 characters (ascii- e.g. bytes)
    2) not every app supports this, not all cameras are good enough (this can be done post fact serverside, but there is no guarantee that taken photo will actually be parseable)
    3) If done in client (phone), how will be parsing done :
    -plaintext should work just fine, simple compression would be better but might confuse users or loose information when being messed with - email clients are notorious for messing up patches, compressed text? forget it.

  6. #6

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    It is indeed a great idea but it will need to add something to enable/disable/test it.

    Example: my cellphone was not able to acquire the QRcode in the Phoronix article (too much screen flickering). I also tried every possible zoom, without success.

    Thanks to Haiku OS for its "prior art". Any good idea always sees a bunch of patent trolls trying to monetize it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by baracca View Post
    It is indeed a great idea but it will need to add something to enable/disable/test it.

    Example: my cellphone was not able to acquire the QRcode in the Phoronix article (too much screen flickering). I also tried every possible zoom, without success.

    Thanks to Haiku OS for its "prior art". Any good idea always sees a bunch of patent trolls trying to monetize it.
    Actually the QRcode displayed on the article is just damaged. QRcodes work best when they're just 2 colors (black and white), but this image has a bunch of shades of gray in it in several areas making it unrecognizable by the QRcode reader. This becomes obvious when you copy the image into GIMP then zoom in.

  8. #8
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    Huh, I remember thinking about this when reading the systemd stuff. It's interesting, but... there are many QR readers running vulnerable libraries, so it looks like a good way to lure unsuspecting users into installing malware in their phones... so, no, thanks :/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdfblah View Post
    Huh, I remember thinking about this when reading the systemd stuff. It's interesting, but... there are many QR readers running vulnerable libraries, so it looks like a good way to lure unsuspecting users into installing malware in their phones... so, no, thanks :/


    That's a Goldberg-tier way of distributing some malware. Attacking the huge intersection of smartphone-using Linux users who report kernel bugs using their phone.

    1. Create a kernel patch that forms such malware in the QR output and causes a kernel oops.
    2. Get said patch upstream, or atleast in Ubuntu.
    3. ???
    4. Profit

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