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FBLOG: A Frame-Buffer Driver Just For Kernel Logs

Linux Kernel

Published on 17 June 2012 11:25 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
12 Comments

Appearing this weekend on the Linux kernel mailing list was a new frame-buffer driver with the sole purpose of the "fblog" driver being for showing the kernel logs.

David Herrmann is the developer who has been trying to kill CONFIG_VT from the Linux kernel, a.k.a. virtual terminal support. Herrmann was responsible for developing KMSCOM, a DRM-based terminal emulator. Now his latest work on the VT-killing spree is fblog. This is just a frame-buffer driver for displaying kernel logs across all connected frame-buffers.

In David's mailing list message he describes fblog as "This driver simply writes the kernel log to all connected framebuffers. It works similar to fbcon but removes all the complexity of the virtual terminals. There is a sysfs attribute called "active" that allows to enable/disable fblog so user-space can start an xserver or similar. The main purpose is debugging kernel boot problems. Therefore, it is not optimized for speed and I tried keeping it simple. I splitted the patches into 10 small chunks to make review easier."

It's unsure at this point whether the kernel log frame-buffer driver, which is less than 1,000 lines of code, will be accepted to the mainline 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 .
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