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SubjectRe: [DUMB]: Is kernel oops always a kernel bug ???
On Fri, 17 Jan 2003 11:33:46 +0530, Linux Geek <>  said:
> If a kernel oops, then is the problem always with the kernel ? Can't a
> user proggie ( running as root ) do something insane and make the
> kernel oops ?

At least in theory, there should be *nothing* that can happen in user space
that will kill the kernel. However, in practice, if a program is running
as root, it can definitely blortch things up. This is mostly due to the
assumption that the root user has a clue, and that if they are (for instance)
opening /proc/kcore for writing, that they know what they're doing. Similarly,
if a program opens /dev/hda1 for writing and scribbles over the superblock,
it may be a bit difficult to mount the filesystem.

So in general, yes, the root user can screw things up in the kernel. On the
other hand, the root user can also 'rm -rf /' which doesn't require any
extraordinary kernel assistance, just the unlink() system call. The only
solution here is to not give root to clueless bozos, and to take regular
backups. ;)
Valdis Kletnieks
Computer Systems Senior Engineer
Virginia Tech

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