Linux distributions may get a “blue screen of death” feature like Windows

Unexpectedly, Linux distributions may adopt a feature that has long been associated with the Windows operating system – the infamous “blue screen of death” (BSOD), reports Ars Technica. A new update, version 255 of the Linux systemd project, has added a systemd-bsod component that generates a full-screen display of error messages when a Linux system crashes. This step aims to turn BSOD from a symbol of PC instability into a useful diagnostic tool in Linux.

The systemd-bsod component, currently marked as “experimental” and “subject to change,” is designed to display logged error messages that reach the LOG_EMERG level in full screen mode. This allows users to easily take a picture or record the error message. In a nod to modern Windows BSODs, the Linux version will also generate a QR code, making it easy to find the error information on a smartphone.

Systemd, the software project behind this update, is widely used in major Linux distributions, including Debian, Fedora, Arch, Ubuntu, CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and many others. This widespread adoption means that most Linux users will likely encounter this new feature, depending on whether their distribution has integrated the new software packages and whether they have upgraded to new releases.

Although systemd version 255 contains many other features and fixes, such as improvements related to TPM support, disk encryption, and hibernation support for btrfs file systems, the addition of the “blue screen of death” feature is ironic.