Re: Kernel messages...

Paul Gortmaker (
Thu, 14 May 1998 23:58:18 +1000 (EST)

> Has anyone given any thought to the idea of pulling kernel messages out of
> the kernel binary itself, and using numerical referencing for them
> instead, in an attempt to see how much space would be preserved in the
> final kernel image?

Rough guess, based on 2.1.101 kernel:
# strings -n8 `find . -name '*.o'` | wc -c
(Note some of that already gets tossed via __initfunc)

> What I'm thinking of is possibly a module (which could be compiled into
> the kernel, of course) which handles the translation of numerical kernel
> messages to their string equivilents, with a hook in printk to handle the
> communication with that piece.
> Alternatively, no textual messages in the kernel at all, and offload the
> translation functionality to syslog, using something akin to to
> register the mapping of value to message text.

Linux-lite kind of does this -- in that it does it for panic("...");
messages but not printk("..."); messages. (I figured the printk's are
something you really can't do without, but if you panic you are screwed
anyways, and you can look things up in after rebooting.) So
a panic simply prints "kernel panic at 0xNNNNNN" and nothing else.
Some semi-clever macro trickery limits the change to a couple of files
and ensures GCC tosses out all the strings.

I might even have a patch to v2.0 floating around that does this.


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