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kernel panic

Linux x86_64: Detecting Hardware Errors

The Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) is used by Microsoft Windows, after encountering a critical system error. Linux / UNIX like operating system may get a kernel panic. It is just like BSoD. The BSoD and a kernel panic generated using a Machine Check Exception (MCE). MCE is nothing but feature of AMD / Intel 64 bit systems which is used to detect an unrecoverable hardware problem. MCE can detect:

  • Communication error between CPU and motherboard.
  • Memory error - ECC problems.
  • CPU cache errors and so on.

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Debian project today released a pair of security updates to plug at least ten security holes in its core called Linux kernel. Several vulnerabilities have been discovered in the Linux kernel that may lead to a denial of service or privilege escalation. This update has been rated as having important security impact.
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Updated kernel packages that fix several bugs, while adding an enhancement are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.

The kernel packages contain the Linux kernel, the core of any Linux operating system.

These updated packages fix the following bugs:

* the GNU libc stub resolver is a minimal resolver that works with Domain Name System (DNS) servers to satisfy requests from applications for names. The GNU libc stub resolver did not specify a source UDP port, and therefore used predictable port numbers. This could have make DNS spoofing attacks easier.

The Linux kernel has been updated to implement random UDP source ports where none are specified by an application. This allows applications, such as those using the GNU libc stub resolver, to use random UDP source ports, helping to make DNS spoofing attacks harder.

* A set of patches detailed as "sys_times: Fix system unresponsiveness during many concurrent invocation of sys_times()" and "Minor code cleanup to sys_times() call" introduced regression which caused a kernel panic under high load. These patches were reverted in the current release.

* A process could hang in an uninterruptible state while accessing application data files due to race condition in asynchronous direct I/O system calls.

* USB devices would not be detected on a PowerEdge R805 system. USB devices are now able to be detected on the aforementioned system with this update.

Further, these updated packages add the following enhancement:

* Added HDMI support for AMD ATI chipsets RS780, RV610, RV620, RV630, RV635, RV670 and RV770.

How do I upgrade my kernel on RHEL 4.x?

Type the following command as root user:
# up2date -uf

Reboot Linux box after a kernel panic

If you want the server to get rebooted automatically after kernel hit by a pain error message, try adding panic=N to /etc/sysctl.conf file.

It specify kernel behavior on panic. By default, the kernel will not reboot after a panic, but this option will cause a kernel reboot after N seconds. For example following boot parameter will force to reboot Linux after 10 seconds.
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