Linux Blue Screen of Death gives users a taste of the dreaded Windows feature

Linux blue screen of death pictured on a laptop
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Linux users are set to get their own version of the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) as part of a new update to the operating system. 

The latest release of systemd for Linux will now generate the error message across a number of distributions, Phoronix reported yesterday. Systemd is a software suite used in a number of Linux operating systems, including Ubuntu, Red Hat, Debian, and Fedora.

Dubbed ‘systemd-bsod’, the new component will be displayed in the event that a user has a “LOG-EMERG” emergency condition.

This is intended specifically to alert users in the case of a boot failure, and was developed as part of Outreachy 2023, an open source development internship scheme, according to Phoronix.

In the event that users encounter the Linux blue screen of death, a QR code will also be displayed to provide additional information on the cause of the error and offer remediation tips.

GitHub changelogs note that this feature is still very much in its infancy, and could be changed in due course.

“A new component in “systemd-bsod” has been added, which can show logged error messages full screen, if they have a log level of LOG_EMERG log level,” the changelog reads. “This component is experimental and its public interface is subject to change.”


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This wouldn’t be out of the ordinary given that Windows has tinkered with the BSOD repeatedly in recent years.

The BSOD changed to a ‘black screen of death’ for Windows 11 following its launch in 2021. However, this was subsequently reverted back to the original color scheme.

QR codes were added to Windows 10 in 2016 to provide users with crash report details.

What is the Blue Screen of Death?

The infamous blue screen of death is an error that appears when a Windows operating system - such as Windows 10 or Windows 11 - encounters an unexpected fault. 

This halts all critical processes and is used to prevent unintended damage to the operating system in the event of a fault.

Windows users have long lamented the blue screen of death as a major inconvenience. However, it plays a vital role in preventing unintended damage to the operating system in the event of a fault.

The BSOD halts all critical processes, including networks, applications, and platforms.

Blue screen errors typically appear after a major update or installation of a new application.

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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