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developerWorks: Kernel Debugging with Kprobes

Aug 23, 2004, 07:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Prasanna S. Panchamukhi)

Kprobes is a simple and lightweight mechanism in Linux that allows you to insert breakpoints into a running kernel. Kprobes provides an interface to break into any kernel routine and collect information non-disruptively from the interrupt handler. Debugging information such as processor registers and global data structures can be easily collected using Kprobes. Developers can even use Kprobes to modify register values and global data structure values.

"To accomplish this, Kprobes inserts a probe by dynamically writing breakpoint instructions at a given address in the running kernel. Execution of the probed instruction results in a breakpoint fault. Kprobes hook in to the breakpoint handler and collect the debugging information. Kprobes can even single-step probed instructions..."

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