"There is a tension here between generality of support infrastructure, maintainability of the infrastructure, simplicity of the infrastructure and reliability of the infrastructure," began Eric Biederman, discussing the need for a common RAS infrastructure for dealing with kernel crashes and what would be involved in getting such tools merged into the mainline kernel. He continued, "the historical linux perspective is that anything that compromises the maintainability or the reliability of the kernel without the tools is unacceptable. There is also a historical perspective that using the single stepping mode of a debugger to diagnose problems frequently leads to symptoms being fixed and not the actual problems being fixed."
Eric compared the kexec on panic code and the kdb code, "on the kexec on panic path the philosophy is that the kernel is broken and as little as possible should be relied upon." He contrasted this to kdb, "from what I can tell the philosophy of the kdb code is that the kernel is mostly ok except for one or two little bugs so it is reasonable to rely on lots of kernel infrastructure." He then suggested that it was because of this difference and reduced maintenance overhead that kexec on panic was merged into the mainline kernel, "I will note that in some sense it is a harder approach to implement as it emphasizes the challenge of drivers that work starting from a random hardware state, and because it draws a clear line between the broken kernel and the recover kernel. But those things are exactly what encourage things to work well." As for what is the next step forward in RAS development, Eric noted, "if someone who is suggesting an implementation can absorb and understand the requirements of the different groups and come up with solutions that meet the requirements of the different projects I think progress can be made. That as far as I know takes talent."