Sep 12 – 14, 2022
Europe/Dublin timezone

Modernizing the kdump dump tools

Sep 14, 2022, 10:45 AM
"Lansdowne" (Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road)


Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road

Kernel Summit Track Kernel Summit


Philipp Rudo


kdump is a mechanism to create dump files after kernel panics for later analysis. It is particularly important for distributions as kdump often is the only way to debug problems reported by customers. Internally kdump the two user space tools makedumpfile, for dump creation, and crash, for dump analysis.

For both makedumpfile and crash to work they need to parse and interpret kernel internal, unstable data structures. This is problematic as both tools claim to be downward compatible. In the decades of their existence this lead to more and more history accumulating up to the point that it often takes hours of git archaeology to find out why the code is the way it is. This is not only time consuming but also leads to many bugs that could be prevented.

This talk shows how moving makedumpfile and crash to the tools/ directory in the kernel tree can help to simplify the code and thus reduce the maintenance needed for both tools. It also shows what consequences this move has for downstream partners and how these consequences can be minimized.

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Primary author

Philipp Rudo

Presentation materials

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