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Linux is getting its own Blue Screen of Death

Linux is getting its own version of a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). Phoronix reports that the latest release of systemd for Linux systems comes with a systemd-bsod service that’s able to generate a full-screen error message on Linux distributions.

Much like how the Blue Screen of Death originated in Windows, Linux’s version will be used as an emergency tool to log errors. If a Linux system fails to boot, it will generate a full-screen message that displays a QR code to get more information on what’s causing the boot issue. This was reportedly added as part of an Outreachy project, a group that provides internships for people to work on open-source tools.

The systemd-bsod feature is still experimental, and a GitHub changelog notes that it’s still subject to change, but systemd is a core part of most Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and Red Hat. So it’s likely that we’ll see this BSOD feature appear in many Linux distributions throughout 2024.

Rest assured there aren’t any major BSOD changes coming to the Windows side at the moment. Microsoft has experimented with a number of changes to its BSOD over the years, including the addition of a sad face to the screen in Windows 8 in 2012 and QR codes in 2016. The BSOD briefly changed to black in Windows 11 before Microsoft reverted that change shortly after the operating system’s release in 2021.

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