Sometimes it is unavoidable to single step through the kernel because the code flow is complicated and systemtap and other tools are not helpful. This comes true when a lot of code must be conditionally analysed, without any prior knowledge. KVM and GDB provides a nice combination for this. I use my standard qemu setup with two additional qemu flags: -s and -S. Both flags instrument qemu to start a qemu gdb server and to break at the beginning. On the other side, the debugger side the following gdb commands are required to bring the environment in a suitable state:

<pre> gdb /usr/src/linux/vmlinux target remote localhost:1234 c bt set architecture i386:x86-64:intel </pre>

set architecture i386:x86-64:intel fix a bug where gdb cannot detect that the target is x86_64 one (adjust this for your needs). After this the common commands like setting breakpoints can be applied.