The dumpadm program is an administrative command that manages the configuration of the operating system crash dump facility. A crash dump is a disk copy of the physical memory of the computer at the time of a fatal system error. When a fatal operating system error occurs, a message describing the error is printed to the console. The operating system then generates a crash dump by writing the contents of physical memory to a predetermined dump device, which is typically a local disk partition. The dump device can be configured by way of dumpadm. Once the crash dump has been written to the dump device, the system will reboot.
Fatal operating system errors can be caused by bugs in the operating system, its associated device drivers and loadable modules, or by faulty hardware. Whatever the cause, the crash dump itself provides invaluable information to your support engineer to aid in diagnosing the problem. As such, it is vital that the crash dump be retrieved and given to your support provider. Following an operating system crash, the savecore(1M) utility is executed automatically during boot to retrieve the crash dump from the dump device, and write it to a pair of files in your file system named unix.X and vmcore.X, where X is an integer identifying the dump. Together, these data files form the saved crash dump. The directory in which the crash dump is saved on reboot can also be configured using dumpadm.
By default, the dump device is configured to be an appropriate swap partition. Swap partitions are disk partitions reserved as virtual memory backing store for the operating system, and thus no permanent information resides there to be overwritten by the dump. See swap(1M). To view the current dump configuration, execute dumpadm with no arguments:
example# dumpadm Dump content: kernel pages Dump device: /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s1 (swap) Savecore directory: /var/crash/saturn Savecore enabled: yes
When one or more options are specified, dumpadm verifies that your changes are valid, and if so, reconfigures the crash dump parameters and displays the resulting configuration. You must be root to view or change dump parameters.
The following options are supported:
Kernel memory pages only.
All memory pages.
Kernel memory pages, and the memory pages of the process whose thread was currently executing on the CPU on which the crash dump was initiated. If the thread executing on that CPU is a kernel thread not associated with any user process, only kernel pages will be dumped.
A specific dump device specified as an absolute pathname, such as /dev/dsk/ cNtNdNsN.
If the special token swap is specified as the dump device, dumpadm examines the active swap entries and selects the most appropriate entry to configure as the dump device. See swap(1M). Refer to the NOTES below for details of the algorithm used to select an appropriate swap entry. When the system is first installed, dumpadm uses swap to determine the initial dump device setting.
Create a minfree file in the current savecore directory indicating that savecore should maintain at least the specified amount of free space in the file system where the savecore directory is located. The min argument can be one of the following:
A positive integer suffixed with the unit k specifying kilobytes.
A positive integer suffixed with the unit m specifying megabytes.
A % symbol, indicating that the minfree value should be computed as the specified percentage of the total current size of the file system containing the savecore directory.
Modify the dump configuration to not run savecore automatically on reboot. This is not the recommended system configuration; if the dump device is a swap partition, the dump data will be overwritten as the system begins to swap. If savecore is not executed shortly after boot, crash dump retrieval may not be possible.
Specify an alternate root directory relative to which dumpadm should create files. If no -r argument is specified, the default root directory "/" is used.
Modify the dump configuration to use the specified directory to save files written by savecore. The directory should be an absolute path and exist on the system. If upon reboot the directory does not exist, it will be created prior to the execution of savecore. See the NOTES section below for a discussion of security issues relating to access to the savecore directory. The default savecore directory is /var/crash/hostname where is the output of the -n option to the uname(1) command.
Forcibly update the kernel dump configuration based on the contents of /etc/dumpadm.conf. Normally this option is used only on reboot by the startup script /etc/init.d/savecore, when the dumpadm settings from the previous boot must be restored. Your dump configuration is saved in the configuration file for this purpose. If the configuration file is missing or contains invalid values for any dump properties, the default values are substituted. Following the update, the configuration file is resynchronized with the kernel dump configuration.
Modify the dump configuration to automatically run savecore on reboot. This is the default for this dump setting.
The following command reconfigures the dump device to a dedicated dump device:
example# dumpadm –d /dev/dsk/c0t2d0s2 Dump content: kernel pages Dump device: /dev/dsk/c0t2d0s2 (dedicated) Savecore directory: /var/crash/saturn Savecore enabled: yes
The following exit values are returned:
Dump configuration is valid and the specified modifications, if any, were made successfully.
A fatal error occurred in either obtaining or modifying the dump configuration.
Invalid command line options were specified.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
|ATTRIBUTE TYPE||ATTRIBUTE VALUE|
When the special swap token is specified as the argument to dumpadm -d the utility will attempt to configure the most appropriate swap device as the dump device. dumpadm configures the largest swap block device as the dump device; if no block devices are available for swap, the largest swap entry is configured as the dump device. If no swap entries are present, or none can be configured as the dump device, a warning message will be displayed. While local and remote swap files can be configured as the dump device, this is not recommended.
In the event that the dump device is also a swap device, and the swap device is deleted by the administrator using the swap -d command, the swap command will automatically invoke dumpadm -d swap in order to attempt to configure another appropriate swap device as the dump device. If no swap devices remain or none can be configured as the dump device, the crash dump will be disabled and a warning message will be displayed. Similarly, if the crash dump is disabled and the administrator adds a new swap device using the swap -a command, dumpadm -d swap will be invoked to re-enable the crash dump using the new swap device.
Once dumpadm -d swap has been issued, the new dump device is stored in the configuration file for subsequent reboots. If a larger or more appropriate swap device is added by the administrator, the dump device is not changed; the administrator must re-execute dumpadm -d swap to reselect the most appropriate device fom the new list of swap devices.
If the dumpadm -m option is used to create a minfree file based on a percentage of the total size of the file system containing the savecore directory, this value is not automatically recomputed if the file system subsequently changes size. In this case, the administrator must re-execute dumpadm -m to recompute the minfree value. If no such file exists in the savecore directory, savecore will default to a free space threshold of one megabyte. If no free space threshold is desired, a minfree file containing size 0 can be created.
If, upon reboot, the specified savecore directory is not present, it will be created prior to the execution of savecore with permissions 0700 (read, write, execute by owner only) and owner root. It is recommended that alternate savecore directories also be created with similar permissions, as the operating system crash dump files themselves may contain secure information.