I'm running Ubuntu Server 14.04 on a machine that is experiencing random crashes under load. The server doesn't restart independently, but it becomes inaccessible via ssh or direct KVM connection.

I suspect CPU issues, but I'm looking for a smoking gun, so I'm following the instructions here:


However, no logfile appears in /var/crash after either a natural or induced crash.


(I induced a crash between each change described here, with no change.)

Everything went smoothly until I got to this step:

$ cat /sys/kernel/kexec_crash_loaded

Expected output was 1. A bit of digging led me to /etc/default/kdump-tools, where I set USE_KDUMP=1. When that didn't work, I added KDUMP_SYSCTL="kernel.panic=60 kernel.panic_on_oops=1" based on the sysctl documentation. Still no joy, so I modified the param directly with sysctl -w kernel.panic=60 to supposedly add extra time for kdump to do its thing.

In every case, I would run:

echo c | sudo tee /proc/sysrq-trigger

The computer would crash and reboot as expected, but all I'd see is this:

$ ls /var/crash

/var/log/kern.log contains only log entries from boot, not from the crashes. (Not sure if this is expected, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.)

Is there something wrong with my configuration?

  • Did you ever figure this out? I'm having the same problem. – Will Jan 5 '16 at 20:40

If /boot is on a separate partition, Kernel Crash Dump on Ubuntu will fail because of a ---> bug which still exists in 14.04 Trusty, can you believe it? At least it is the case for me using LVM and a separate /boot.

The workaround is to

  1. unmount /boot and then mount it to some other mount point, e.g. /mnt
  2. copy the contents over to /boot (the one on the same block device as /). e.g. rsync -axHAX --progress --stats /mnt/ /boot
  3. Trigger a crash by using echo c | sudo tee /proc/sysrq-trigger
  4. If all good, you'll see kernel crash dump in /var/crash in forms of (uname -r)-yyyymmddHHmm.crash and a yyyymmddHHmm directory with dmesg and dump.

If you want to analyze the crash dump, you'll need crash, run it like below:

crash /usr/lib/debug/boot/vmlinux-$(uname -r) /var/crash/yyyymmddHHmm/dump.yyyymmddHHmm

For more info regarding crash, read the manual.

BTW: DO NOT forget to reload the kdump-tools configuration after changing /etc/default/kdump-tools by kdump-config load.

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  • will there be any issue if you unmount /boot? As the grub and the image are on this partition? Will the system reboot successfully after unmount /boot? – Robin May 31 '18 at 17:45

Maybe it is the reserved memory is too small.(my problem caused by this reason).

I think you should check the right thing from three steps. First, check your config is follow the [Ubuntu kernel Crash dump]:https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide/kernel-crash-dump.html

Second, dmesg|grep -i crash, to check the reserved memory is ok.

Third, service kdump-tools status to check the load kdump kernel is ok.

In the third step, the log is very important, your can see /var/log/syslog to find the logs. and then identify the reason.

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