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Diagnosys: automatic generation of a debugging interface to the Linux kernel

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4 Author(s)
Bissyande, T.F. ; Univ. of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France ; Reveillere, L. ; Lawall, J.L. ; Muller, G.

The Linux kernel does not export a stable, well-defined kernel interface, complicating the development of kernel-level services, such as device drivers and file systems. While there does exist a set of functions that are exported to external modules, this set of functions frequently changes, and the functions have implicit, ill-documented preconditions. No specific debugging support is provided. We present Diagnosys, an approach to automatically constructing a debugging interface for the Linux kernel. First, a designated kernel maintainer uses Diagnosys to identify constraints on the use of the exported functions. Based on this information, developers of kernel services can then use Diagnosys to generate a debugging interface specialized to their code. When a service including this interface is tested, it records information about potential problems. This information is preserved following a kernel crash or hang. Our experiments show that the generated debugging interface provides useful log information and incurs a low performance penalty.

Published in:

Automated Software Engineering (ASE), 2012 Proceedings of the 27th IEEE/ACM International Conference on

Date of Conference:

3-7 Sept. 2012