Originally Posted by krishanth
What exactly does symbol mean in linux kernel?
you're not very specific about that, so I can't be 100% sure if that's what you want to know ...
"Symbols" are variable names, function names and so on that are used in programming. When a piece of software is released, it's usually just the executable machine code (plus manual or other documentation, of course). The source code, that is the human-readable form of the software, may be supplied separately (open-source software) or not at all (most commercial closed-source products).
Now, if a programmer writes a module that interacts with the Linux kernel, he has to test and debug it using a "live" kernel. Plus, he has the source codes of the kernel available so he can look up what's going on inside the compiled code.
But it's on the verge of impossible to look at the working kernel and tell what line of source code a particular piece of code is related to. That's where the symbol table enters the stage: A cross-reference of machine code addresses and the correspondig source code line, so that you can correlate the two.
[X] Doc CPU