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July 13-17, 2009

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Programmatic Kernel Dump Analysis On Linux

Alexandre Sidorenko (asid@hp.com)

Companies providing Linux support rely heavily on kernel dumps created on customers' hosts. Kernel dump analysis is an art and it is impossible to make it fully automatic. The standard tool used for dump-analysis, 'crash', provides a number of useful commands. But when we need to enhance it or to analyze several thousand similar structures, we need programmatic API.

In this paper we describe Python bindings to 'crash', http://sourceforge.net/projects/pykdump and compare it to C-like SIAL extension language. After general framework discussion we look at some practical tools developed on top of PyKdump, such as 'xportshow'. This tool works on kernels 2.4.21-2.6.28 and provides many useful features, such as printing routing tables, emulating 'netstat' and summarizing networking system status.



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