Introduction - Linux Kernel Crash Dump

The Linux Kernel Crash Dump (LKCD) project is designed to meet the needs of customers and system administrators wanting a reliable method of detecting, saving and examining system crashes. While more mature operating systems have provided these capabilities by default for years, Linux has yet to evolve to such a state. LKCD is an attempt to move Linux towards greater supportability.

Kernel Crash Dump Requires Four Components:

  1. Kernel Support:
    Kernel code for configuring dump parameters, catching error conditions, and executing a kernel memory dump. kernels need to be patched with the LKCD dump modules.

  2. Dump Configuration:
    Facilities for integrating system crash dump capabilities into the operating system. These facilities are in the form of user-level applications to configure and enable crash dumps and various system scripts necessary for incorporating LKCD into the operating system.

  3. Dump Recovery:
    User-level commands to retrieve a dump saved by the kernel and transfer it to a user accessible location.

  4. Dump Analysis:
    A debugger that can operate on the saved dump image. The lkcdutils package provides the lcrash command for dump analysis.

LKCD provides the all of the components (kernel and user level code) designed to:

  • Save the kernel memory image when the system dies due to a software failure;
  • Recover the kernel memory image when the system is rebooted;
  • Analyze the memory image to determine what happened when the failure occurred.

The memory image is stored into a dump device, which is represented by one of the disk partitions on the system. That dump is recovered with an application called lcrash (Linux Crash) once the system boots back up, before the swap partitions are mounted. A report is generated and saved into /var/log/dump.

Modified: 01/06/05 02:08:54 PM Logo © 2005 LKCD Team