1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

An In-Kernel x86 Disassembler For Linux Kernel

Linux Kernel

Published on 02 April 2012 07:44 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
11 Comments

Patches for an x86 disassembler for the Linux kernel have been proposed. An in-kernel disassembler could prove useful for developers in cases of kernel panics and other happenings.

Masami Hiramatsu, the developer behind this x86 disassembler patch-set writes on the mailing list, "Here is a series of patches of the in-kernel x86 disassembler for the latest tip tree. This will show you a pretty disassembled code instead of just a digital code sequence when you gets a kernel panic etc. (I know, we also have script/decodecode for the panic use) This feature is not for users, but mainly for kernel developers who can understand disassembly code of x86 ;)."

This implementation provides a debugfs-based disassembler interface to disassemble a running Linux kernel, panic dumps show disassembly code instead of the instruction byte stream (a more human-friendly report to debug), a disassemble command for the KDB kernel debugger, and a user-land disassembly tool.

Right now though only common x86 instructions are supported but not items like SEE, MMX, and AVX.

Ingo Molnar has already responded with some feedback and ideas, including the idea of now introducing a built-in x86 assembler for the Linux kernel. "Another very interesting usecase would be to invert it and create a simpler parser and an in-kernel *assembler*: a GAS replacement in essence. We could build the kernel using its own assembler. That could also be used for safe sandboxing: the disassembler could be combined with the assembler to ensure that binary code submitted to the kernel is 'safe' to execute - even in kernel-space. A sha1 hash could be used to cache already checked, 'safe' modules of code."

It's now past the Linux 3.4 kernel merge window but this disassembler could be a potential feature for the Linux 3.5 kernel.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Even With Re-Clocking, Nouveau Remains Behind NVIDIA's Proprietary Linux Driver
  2. The Power Consumption & Efficiency Of Open-Source GPU Drivers
  3. AMD R600g/RadeonSI Performance On Linux 3.16 With Mesa 10.3-devel
  4. Intel Pentium G3258 On Linux
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Nouveau vs. Radeon vs. Intel Tests On Linux 3.16, Mesa 10.3-devel
  2. KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10
  3. X.Org Server 1.16 Officially Released With Terrific Features
  4. Ubuntu With Linux 3.16 Smashes OS X 10.9.4 On The MacBook Air
Latest Linux News
  1. NVIDIA Is Working Towards VDPAU H.265/HEVC Support
  2. Hawaii Bug-Fixes Start Hitting Mainline RadeonSI Gallium3D
  3. The FFmpeg vs. Libav War Continues In Debian Land
  4. Grand Theft Auto Running On Direct3D Natively On Linux Shows Gallium3D Potential
  5. GCC As A Just-In Time Compiler Is An Interesting Project
  6. Age Of Wonders III Is Still Being Ported To Linux
  7. Git 2.1 To Further Mainline Windows Support Patches
  8. Debian 8.0 Jessie Is Settling For Linux 3.16
  9. Meson: A Next-Gen Build System Showing Promise
  10. Linux 3.16-rc7 Calms Things Down For The Linux 3.16 Kernel
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Debian + radeonsi
  2. Open-source drivers on ATI R7 260X
  3. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  4. List of Linux friendly Kickstarter projects
  5. Linus Torvalds On GCC 4.9: Pure & Utter Crap
  6. Porting Mesa to the Playstation 2
  7. ASRock AM1H-ITX: One Of The Best AM1 Mini-ITX Motherboards
  8. Table test