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Linux Gazette: dmesg explained

Nov 11, 2000, 21:38 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by José Nazario, Natarajan Krishnaswami)

"Often someone will write to a Linux help list asking for help with a particular device they want to get working under Linux, and a standard reply is "check the output of the dmesg command". This leaves a lot of new users befuddled, and this document is here to hopefully help them navigate this powerful debugging tool. Two sets of kernel boot messages are presented and annotated, from an i386 system and a Linux-Pmac system."

"The Linux kernel is the central interface between the user and the hardware. As such, it has to incorporate support for hardware if you are to use it. Often, though, cryptic device names are used by the system, making it difficult at first inspection to determine if some particular hardware is supported. The command 'dmesg', which is used to print kernel messages, is very useful in determining if a piece of hardware has been found, and if so, what the system is referring to it as."

"This artcle, including the title and format of the dmesg comments, were directly inspired and copied from the OpenBSD Explained article by the same name. I felt one on Linux would be useful for people."

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