High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! In computing, kexec
(kernel execution) is a mechanism of the Linux kernel that allows
"live" booting of a new kernel "over" the currently running kernel.
kexec skips the bootloader stage (hardware initialization phase by
the firmware or BIOS) and directly loads the new kernel into
memory, where it starts executing immediately. This avoids the long
times associated with a full reboot, and can help systems to meet
high-availability requirements by minimizing downtime. While
feasible, implementing a mechanism such as kexec raises two major
challenges: 1. the new kernel will overwrite the memory of the
currently running one, while it is still executing 2. the new
kernel will usually expect all physical devices to be in a
well-defined state (as they are after system reboot, when the BIOS
(or firmware) resets them to a "sane" state). Bypassing a real
reboot may leave devices in an unknown state, and the new kernel
will have to recover from that.
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