Introduction to kdump

Kdump is a kernel crash dumping mechanism that allows you to save the contents of the system’s memory for later analysis. It relies on kexec, which can be used to boot a Linux kernel from the context of another kernel, bypass BIOS, and preserve the contents of the first kernel’s memory that would otherwise be lost.

In case of a system crash, kdump uses kexec to boot into a second kernel (a capture kernel). This second kernel resides in a reserved part of the system memory that is inaccessible to the first kernel. The second kernel then captures the contents of the crashed kernel’s memory (a crash dump) and saves it.


  1. sudo apt-get install kdump-tools crash kexec-tools makedumpfile $(uname -r)-dbg
  2. Check USE_KDUMP=1 in /etc/default/kdump-tools
  3. Check crashkernel=384M-:128M
  4. If you modify the kernel command-line given in bootloader configuration, sudo update-grub

Ensure Kernel Configuration

Make sure your kernel configuration has the following entries:


Verify that the crash kernel is loaded

cat /sys/kernel/kexec_crash_loaded

Test that the crash kernel is loaded

sudo sync; echo c | sudo tee /proc/sysrq-trigger

Use the crash tool to look at the resulting crash dump