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Re: Logging a kernel panic (remotely)

Douglas A. Tutty said at 16/01/2008 14:48:
On Wed, Jan 16, 2008 at 12:08:44PM +0000, Ronny Adsetts wrote:
I'm trying to solve a problem with a headless server on a remote site that panics from time to time. Unfortunately we have no remote console. Is there a way to get the kernel to either to to write the panic to disk or to log it remotely?

I've read about the RedHat 'netdump' utility but it doesn't seem to be available for debian (see debian bug 151472).

Does anyone have any advice to offer?

I'll try and get a serial console hooked up at some point but I may not be able to get on site for a few weeks.

If you have syslog send its log to another box, does the panic get out
the syslog?  The problem as I understand it is that when a kernel
panics, it panics and doing anything with the panic other than a message
to the console requires that the kernel do some further work.  Writing
to disk, or creating an IP packet and sending it out an NIC, all
requires that the kernel do something other than spit data out a serial

Right. I was hoping this wasn't the case but it does make total sense.

If there is anyone at the site who can receive a pre-configured external
modem by courier, you could configure a modem to auto-dial you on power
up.  The minimally trained monkey on site can connect the modem and turn
it on.  You configure the serial console (in addition to the regular
console) and set up an mgetty on your box to take the modem's call.

Alternatively, if there is a spare printer on site, can anyone connect
it?  I don't know about a USB printer, but a serial or paralell printer
also works as a simple console logger.  It could then be mailed to you.

If the site is the top of a mountain with nobody around, then I would
consider arrangements for a serial console to be right up there with
arranging for backups before asking how to undelete a file: essential.

I did end up getting a serial cable and hooking it up to another computer.

Thanks for your reply.

Ronny Adsetts
Technical Director
Amazing Internet Ltd, London
t: +44 20 8607 9535
f: +44 20 8607 9536
w: www.amazinginternet.com

Registered office: UK House, 82 Heath Road, Twickenham TW1 4BW
Registered in England. Company No. 4042957

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