Linux's New DRM Panic "Blue Screen of Death" In Action

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 16 June 2024 at 06:48 AM EDT. 78 Comments
After being talked about for years of DRM panic handling and coming with a "Blue Screen of Death" solution for DRM/KMS drivers, Linux 6.10 is introducing a new DRM panic handler infrastructure for being able to display a message when a panic occurs. This is especially important for those building a kernel without VT/FBCON support where otherwise viewing the kernel panic message isn't otherwise easily available.

With Linux 6.10 the initial DRM Panic code has landed as well as wiring up the DRM/KMS driver support for the SimpleDRM, MGAG200, IMX, and AST drivers. There is work underway on extending DRM Panic support to other drivers that we'll likely see over the coming kernel cycles for more widespread support.

For those curious what DRM Panic can look like in action, Red Hat engineer Javier Martinez Canillas shared a photo of the DRM Panic "Blue Screen of Death" in action. A BeaglePlay single board computer was used and Javier posted to Mastodon of an example implementation:

DRM Panic BSoD by Javier Martinez C.

It's simple and to the point. It could be extended in the future with some operating systems having looked at QR codes for kernel error messages and other efforts for presenting more technical information while still being user-friendly.

On Linux 6.10+ with platforms having the DRM Panic driver support, this "Blue Screen of Death" functionality can be tested via a route such as echo c > /proc/sysrq-trigger.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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