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Troubleshooting SysRq

This is a post by guest blogger Wesley David. You can find more information about Wesley at the end of the article.

I have in two articles introduced you to SysRq and shared with you various ways it can be used. Now, in the last part of the series, I turn to troubleshooting SysRq with topics including what do you do if you don’t have a SysRq key, and limiting the capabilities of SysRq.

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Further exploring the SysRq support in Linux

The sysrq key

This is a post by guest blogger Wesley David. You can find more information about Wesley at the end of the article.

In my last article “Every sysadmin needs a little SysRq magic” I introduced Linux’s implementation of the SysRq feature that was created years ago in an era of computing history that is rapidly being forgotten. In this follow up article, I’d like to deepen your understanding of Linux’s SysRq support.

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Every sysadmin needs a little SysRq magic

sysreq key

This is a post by guest blogger Wesley David. You can find more information about Wesley at the end of the article.

Glance down at your keyboard. Look to the top right, somewhere above or around the “Page Up” and “Home” keys. If you’ve got a keyboard that follows long standing convention (at least if you’re using a PC), you’ll see a key that has the cryptic word “SysRq” on it somewhere, possibly as an alternate function. It likely shares a key with the words “Print Screen.” If you have a modern Lenovo laptop, you can stop searching for that key, however. In a bold departure from tradition, Thinkpads have recently been bereft of that oft neglected key.

What is this strange key and what does it mean anyway? “SysRQ” is short for the general term “system request”, however that doesn’t shed much light on its purpose. For that kind of information, we’ll need to step into our wayback machine and take a gander at computing history.

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