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Kernel panic was as simple as:

  volatile void panic(const char * s)
    printk("Kernel panic: %s\n\r",s);

It's interesting to compare it to the modern version [1].

In a way, it really isn't much more complicated now. It's changed to take a format string, but beyond that, once you rip out the platform-specific ifdefs, the SMP/lock code, and the automatic reboot code, you're still left with a pretty simple function that does basically the same thing.

[1] http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git...

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