A kernel panic is a message displayed by an operating system upon detecting an internal system error from which it cannot recover. Kernel panics often provide cryptic debugging information that is useful only to the developers of the operating system.
Attempts by the operating system to read an invalid or unpermitted memory address are a common source of kernel panics. A panic may also occur as a result of a hardware failure.
The kernel panic was introduced in an early version of Unix, and demonstrated a major difference between the design philosophies of Unix and its predecessor Multics