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kexec()

kexec()

Posted Nov 10, 2005 18:26 UTC (Thu) by AnswerGuy (subscriber, #1256)
In reply to: Truly Free drivers could use a stable API too by kfiles
Parent article: On binary drivers and stable interfaces

Depending on your precise definition of "reboot" it's also possible with newer kernels to run the kexec wrapper around the kexec() system call
and thus load a new kernel without a firmware reboot. (Also available
with the old 2-kernel monte patches and utility).

Of course all user processes are killed through a kexec() ... and all
devices are re-initialized by the new kernel. Thus this is a "reboot"
in that sense of the term.

Combine that with some Mosix and Xen like process checkpointing and suspension and you could very well devise a Linux system that would not
have to be "rebooted" in order to switch in a new kernel.

But it's quibbling to compare the necessity of rebooting into a new kernel
with the infamous reboots required for trivial system settings in earlier versions of MS Windows. I used to have a poster with a genuine appearing MS Windows GUI dialog that read:

You have moved your mouse.
A system reboot is required for this change to take effect.
[Ok]

JimD


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