Kernel Debugging

Resea Kernel is written in C. While some people say "C is a bad language! Rewrite everything in Rust!", C is a pretty good chioce for writing kernel because it makes easy to understand what happens.

That said, debugging C code (especially in the kernel world) is really painful. In this page, we'll walk you through some useful features for kernel debugging.


Use the following macros:

  • TRACE(fmt, ...)
    • A trace message. Disabled on release build.
  • DEBUG(fmt, ...)
    • A debug message. Disabled on release build.
  • INFO(fmt, ...)
    • A info message.
  • WARN(fmt, ...)
    • A warning message.
  • OOPS(fmt, ...)
    • Same as WARN but it also prints a backtrace.
  • OOPS(expr)
    • Prints an oops message if expr != OK.
  • PANIC(fmt, ...)
    • Kernel panic. It prints the message and halts the CPU.
  • BUG(fmt, ...)
    • An unexpected situation occurred in the kernel (a bug). It prints the message and halts the CPU.


  • backtrace()
    • Prints a backtrace like the following output. We recommend to use OOPS macro instead.
[kernel] WARN: Backtrace:
[kernel] WARN:     #0: ffff80000034a7e0 backtrace()+0x3c
[kernel] WARN:     #1: ffff800000113de7 kernel_ipc()+0x77
[kernel] WARN:     #2: ffff80000010f7bb mainloop()+0x6b
[kernel] WARN:     #3: ffff80000010f4a9 kernel_server_main()+0x149
[kernel] WARN:     #4: ffff8000001027d6 x64_start_kernel_thread(+0xa

Kernel Debugger

Kernel debugger is available only in the debug build. You can use it over the serial port. Implemented commands are:

  • ps
    • List processes and threads. It's useful for debugging dead locks.

Runtime Checkers

In the debug build, the following runtime checkers are enabled.