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24.2. Analyzing the Core Dump

To determine the cause of the system crash, you can use the crash utility. This utility allows you to interactively analyze a running Linux system as well as a core dump created by netdump, diskdump, xendump, or kdump. When started, it presents you with an interactive prompt very similar to the GNU Debugger (GDB).

Note: Make Sure You Have Relevant Packages Installed

To analyze the vmcore dump file, you must have the crash and kernel-debuginfo packages installed. To do so, type the following at a shell prompt:
~]# yum install --enablerepo=rhel-debuginfo crash kernel-debuginfo
Refer to Section 1.2.2, “Installing” for more information on how to install new packages in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
To start the utility, type the command in the following form at a shell prompt:
crash /var/crash/timestamp/vmcore /usr/lib/debug/lib/modules/kernel/vmlinux
Note that the kernel version should be the same that was captured by kdump. To find out which kernel you are currently running, use the uname -r command.
Example 24.3. Running the crash utility
~]# crash /usr/lib/debug/lib/modules/2.6.32-69.el6.i686/vmlinux \

crash 5.0.0-23.el6
Copyright (C) 2002-2010  Red Hat, Inc.
Copyright (C) 2004, 2005, 2006  IBM Corporation
Copyright (C) 1999-2006  Hewlett-Packard Co
Copyright (C) 2005, 2006  Fujitsu Limited
Copyright (C) 2006, 2007  VA Linux Systems Japan K.K.
Copyright (C) 2005  NEC Corporation
Copyright (C) 1999, 2002, 2007  Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Copyright (C) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002  Mission Critical Linux, Inc.
This program is free software, covered by the GNU General Public License,
and you are welcome to change it and/or distribute copies of it under
certain conditions.  Enter "help copying" to see the conditions.
This program has absolutely no warranty.  Enter "help warranty" for details.

GNU gdb (GDB) 7.0
Copyright (C) 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.  Type "show copying"
and "show warranty" for details.
This GDB was configured as "i686-pc-linux-gnu"...

      KERNEL: /usr/lib/debug/lib/modules/2.6.32-69.el6.i686/vmlinux
    DUMPFILE: /var/crash/  [PARTIAL DUMP]
        CPUS: 4
        DATE: Wed Aug 25 08:44:47 2010
      UPTIME: 00:09:02
LOAD AVERAGE: 0.00, 0.01, 0.00
       TASKS: 140
     RELEASE: 2.6.32-69.el6.i686
     VERSION: #1 SMP Tue Aug 24 10:31:45 EDT 2010
     MACHINE: i686  (2394 Mhz)
      MEMORY: 8 GB
       PANIC: "Oops: 0002 [#1] SMP " (check log for details)
         PID: 5591
     COMMAND: "bash"
        TASK: f196d560  [THREAD_INFO: ef4da000]
         CPU: 2


To exit the interactive prompt and terminate crash, type exit.

24.2.1. Displaying the Message Buffer

To display the kernel message buffer, type the log command at the interactive prompt.
Example 24.4. Displaying the kernel message buffer
crash> log
... several lines omitted ...
EIP: 0060:[<c068124f>] EFLAGS: 00010096 CPU: 2
EIP is at sysrq_handle_crash+0xf/0x20
EAX: 00000063 EBX: 00000063 ECX: c09e1c8c EDX: 00000000
ESI: c0a09ca0 EDI: 00000286 EBP: 00000000 ESP: ef4dbf24
 DS: 007b ES: 007b FS: 00d8 GS: 00e0 SS: 0068
Process bash (pid: 5591, ti=ef4da000 task=f196d560 task.ti=ef4da000)
 c068146b c0960891 c0968653 00000003 00000000 00000002 efade5c0 c06814d0
<0> fffffffb c068150f b7776000 f2600c40 c0569ec4 ef4dbf9c 00000002 b7776000
<0> efade5c0 00000002 b7776000 c0569e60 c051de50 ef4dbf9c f196d560 ef4dbfb4
Call Trace:
 [<c068146b>] ? __handle_sysrq+0xfb/0x160
 [<c06814d0>] ? write_sysrq_trigger+0x0/0x50
 [<c068150f>] ? write_sysrq_trigger+0x3f/0x50
 [<c0569ec4>] ? proc_reg_write+0x64/0xa0
 [<c0569e60>] ? proc_reg_write+0x0/0xa0
 [<c051de50>] ? vfs_write+0xa0/0x190
 [<c051e8d1>] ? sys_write+0x41/0x70
 [<c0409adc>] ? syscall_call+0x7/0xb
Code: a0 c0 01 0f b6 41 03 19 d2 f7 d2 83 e2 03 83 e0 cf c1 e2 04 09 d0 88 41 03 f3 c3 90 c7 05 c8 1b 9e c0 01 00 00 00 0f ae f8 89 f6 <c6> 05 00 00 00 00 01 c3 89 f6 8d bc 27 00 00 00 00 8d 50 d0 83
EIP: [<c068124f>] sysrq_handle_crash+0xf/0x20 SS:ESP 0068:ef4dbf24
CR2: 0000000000000000

Type help log for more information on the command usage.

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