The Linux kernel code is robust, but even the best kernel hackers are only human and make mistakes. So, while kernel crashes are rare, they can occur and are unpleasant events. To find the cause of such crashes, kernel dumps containing the crashed system state are often the only available approach. Because mainframes traditionally run mission critical workloads, there is a particular big focus on the serviceability of the platform. Customers expect that all problems are solved in a short time. Therefore, when Linux was ported to s390 beginning of 2000, IBM also provided a reliable kernel dump mechanism. This was about five years before kdump was integrated into the upstream Linux kernel. In some areas, kdump offers advantages over the traditional s390 dump methods. Therefore, in 2011, kdump was ported to s390. The code was enriched by specific s390 features and, as much as possible, kdump was integrated into the existing s390 dump infrastructure. This presentation reviews the traditional s390 Linux kernel dump methods, describes the specifics of the s390 kdump port, and explains the integration into the existing s390 dump infrastructure.
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