Why is dmesg called dmesg?

Is there any explanation/history behind the name of the command dmesg (which prints out some kernel messages)?


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Method 1

I think it stands for “diagnostic messages”, as per the older1 man page (referenced here too).

dmesg - system diagnostic messages
Dmesg looks in a system buffer for recent kernel diagnostic messages and reproduces them on the standard output

One of the oldest references appears to be a man page revision by Kirk McKusick dating back from 1985.

1: the link doesn’t always work – no idea why… I’m attaching a screenshot though you should still be able to access the page via Google’s cache.

man page for dmesg(8) listing "dmesg - system diagnostic messages" as the NAME

Method 2

I think the dmesg command just stands for display messages. The FreeBSD manpages seem to share this view:

dmesg — display the system message buffer

Method 3

According to Wikipedia, dmesg is “display message or driver message

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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