A recipe for disaster (aka crash dump analysis)

Kees Cook kees.cook at canonical.com
Thu Feb 19 15:48:44 UTC 2009

Hi Tim,

On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 07:57:50AM -0700, Tim Gardner wrote:
> I'm about to start a wiki page that describes how to install the
> necessary infrastructure for Jaunty crash dump acquisition and analysis.
> One file that would make analysis much easier is to have available the
> original uncompressed, unstripped vmlinux. I propose modifying the
> Jaunty server package such that it is stored in /lib/modules/`uname -r`.
> Any objections (or better ideas) ? IMHO servers are not typically disk
> space limited, so the extra couple of MB doesn't seem like an undue
> burden. Plus, I'm lazy and don't really want to produce yet another
> package like linux-image-server-debug.

We used to have linux-image-debug-*:
$ apt-cache search linux-image-debug
linux-image-debug-2.6.24-23-server - Linux kernel debug image for version 2.6.24 on x86/x86_64
linux-image-debug-generic - Linux kernel debug image for generic kernel image
linux-image-debug-server - Linux kernel debug image for server kernel image

We should just put that back, and use a Recommends to pull it in with
the regular kernel.  Producing the -debug kernels should (hopefully)
be trivial -- it just copies out vmlinux before doing the strip/compress.
In fact, if you worked with pitti, perhaps you could get dh_strip to do the
work and have the -dbgsym packages built for the kernel instead, for free.

I disagree that servers aren't diskspace limited -- think of little
routers, etc.

Why is this only for servers?  Don't we want crash dumps for desktop too?


Kees Cook
Ubuntu Security Team

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