How to set up Red Hat's Network Crash Dump Facility


The Redhat utility Netdump, will provide fault analysis for software or hardware bugs that cause a system crash.

Netdump saves an image of the first 4GB of memory to a server on the network

To configure netdump we need to ensure that we have the rpm netdump installed on the client

To check for this rpm type rpm -qa | grep netdump and you should see something like netdump-0.7.4-2, 0.7.4-2 is the version I used at the time of writting but may be different for you

On the server the rpm netdump-server should be installed

Again to check type rpm -qa | grep netdump and something like netdump-server-0.7.4-2 should be displayed, again the version may be different for you but should be same as the client

If either of these rpms are not installed, locate on the installation media and install by typing something similar to the following

rpm -ivh netdump-server-0.7.4-2.i386.rpm


rpm -ivh netdump-0.7.4-2.i386.rpm

depending on whether you are installing the server or client

Once the rpms are installed we will need to do a small amount of configuration

Server configuration

The crash dump will be written to /var/crash so ensure that filesystem containing this directory has over 4GB of free space for each client likely to write here

Set a passwd for the netdump user, this user will already be created so just type the following

passwd netdump

And choose a passwd

Enable netdump-server to start at boot time, type chkconfig netdump-server on

Then start the server, type service netdump-server start

Client configuration

Edit the file /etc/sysconfig/netdump and add a line similiar to NETDUMPADDR= and specify the ip-address of the netdump server

We now need to set up the netdump init script to send a dynamic random key to the server

Run service netdump propagate and give the netdump users password previously setup on the netdump server

This only has to be done once on setup

We then need to enable the netdump client to start on boot up, type chkconfig netdump on

Then start the client service right now, type service netdump start

And that is it, hopefully now if your client crashes a crash dump should be saved in /var/crash on the netdump server for later analysis