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Old 09-26-2004, 05:56 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Posts: 58

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Crash Dumps

When (user-mode) applications crash in Windows, they may produce a standard type of crash dump (e.g., minidumps). Similarly, if the (kernel-mode) system crashes, you can get various types of dumps (see control panel > system > advanced).

I'm wondering if Linux (user-mode) programs also produce standard crash dumps. I've done some Googling on this, but I haven't found an authoritative reference on Linux crash dumps. Are they called coredumps? Are there various types of coredumps? I'm interested in learning more about these, and how to analyze them (assuming I'm getting them from many Linux users using various distributions).

As for kernel-mode crash dumps, the only thing I've found was the lkcd (linux kernel crash dump), but this doesn't look like it's standard in Linux (i.e., you'd have to recompile your kernel with this). Linux doesn't already produce crash dumps, does it?

Thanks in advance!
Old 09-26-2004, 07:36 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: New Zealand
Distribution: Debian
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If a program crashes, the system will usually create a core dump, which is basically the contents of the memory being used by that program. Have a look here for a short description of how to use the core dump with gdb (also, the rest of the tutorial is great if you haven't used it before). I'm not sure how well this works if someone sends you their core file, but I've seen developers ask for core files before, so it must be possible.

I'm not sure about whether the kernel dumps by default or not - I've never seen a kernel crash that I didn't cause, and I never needed to use a dump file to fix my own (stupid) mistakes.
Old 09-26-2004, 09:45 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2003
Posts: 58

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Yeah well most kernel crashes (Windows & Linux alike) aren't caused by the kernel, but rather bad drivers or modules. Basically one of the things I'd like to find out is which driver/module caused it.


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