Kernel Developers Look At QR Codes For Error Messages
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 05 April 2014 at 12:35 PM EDT. 26 Comments
Linux Kernel
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.

Right now when a kernel oops/panic happens, a lot of text is dumped to the screen, most of which is not immediately understandable to the user encountering the problem. With the proposed approach, a QR code would be rendered that the user could then snap with a digital camera or smart-phone. From there the QR code could be decoded to expose the kernel error message in a more pleasant state than just being dumped to your screen. Approaches talked about would be either encoding the raw Linux kernel oops string or redirecting the user to a error message on Kernel.org. With the Kernel.org approach could potentially be also the automated reporting of the kernel oops. In order to make a long oops message fit within a reasonably sized QR code, gzip compression has been talked about for compressing the error string.


This is certainly an interesting approach to trying to better capture kernel oops messages. With my workflow, I would love to see this capability as well and would speed up some processes. Right now it looks like the developers working on these QR-packaged errors are currently getting the QR support into order.

Those interested in finding more about this tentative work to package Linux kernel oops/panic messages as QR codes, see the mailing list thread. Obviously this work is already out of the scope for the Linux 3.15 kernel but we look forward to its hopeful arrival in an upcoming kernel release.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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