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Bug hunting

A KDB debug shell can now be opened in the KMS drivers for GeForce and Radeon graphics hardware in order to get to the bottom of problems or crashes (1, 2). The code for the shell was merged into kernel 2.6.36, but in that version only works with Intel's KMS driver. Following a quieter period in the area of drivers for graphics hardware emulated by virtualisation solutions including VMware, major changes are once more afoot. These include a fix to improve support for ACPI S3 and S4.

Maintainer Dave Airlie lists a number of changes to the kernel code responsible for DRM and KMS in his main git pull request. There have also been changes to USB DisplayLink driver udlfb, currently located in the staging branch, including documentation and DPMS support. Enhancements to the code for EDID and setting screen resolution mean that the driver is now able to address high end monitors with standard resolutions greater than 1280 ×1024 via cheap DisplayLink chips such as the DL-125. Several months ago, a blog entry by the developers behind the driver expressed their hope that the driver would soon be able to escape the staging area, but this hasn't happened in 2.6.37 yet.

Minor gems

Many further minor, but by no means insignificant, changes can be found in the list below, which contains the commit headers referring to the respective change. Like many of the references in the text above, the links point to the relevant commit in the web front end of the Git branch for the "official" kernel sources maintained by Linus Torvalds at The commit comments available at these links and the patches themselves provide extensive further information on the respective changes.

Every link is preceded by various letters and numbers in square brackets. The letter "C" identifies patches that modify Kconfig files, which contain the help texts and configuration options displayed by "make menuconfig", "make xconfig" and similar tools during kernel configuration. "D" is used for patches that modify the documentation available under Documentation/ in the kernel branch. "N" identifies changes which create a new file. The numbers provide a rough idea of the patch size: For instance, "1" is used for changes between 10 and 20 KBytes including comment, "2" for patches between 20 and 30 KBytes; changes without a number are less than 10 KBytes, while patches marked "9" are 90 KBytes or more.

Older Kernel Logs can be found in the archives or by using the search function at The H Open Source. New editions of Kernel Logs are also mentioned on and Twitter via "@kernellog2". The Kernel Log author also posts updates about various topics on and Twitter via "@kernellogauthor".

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