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Automatic inclusion of debug session in system dump

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020078D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Oct-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 39K

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A program is disclosed that allows additional debug information to be included in an operating system dump for subsequent analysis. The additional debug information may be either a log of an interactive debug session, or the output of an automated, scripted debug session.

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Automatic inclusion of debug session in system dump

There are several problems with the current techniques for capturing debugger output for later analysis. Using cut and paste is interactive and tedious. Depending on the volume of debugger output, a window's scroll history could be exhausted and output lost before being recorded. Several of the session loggers hooked into the terminal emulators have problems when the line quality is poor, or have problems with control characters. And a more fundamental problem surfaces when automated, non-interactive debug sessions are considered. When debugger scripting is used, there may not be a terminal connected to a physical serial port, and the virtual console window might not be open. Even when a terminal window is opened, the combination of debugger scripting and an autoreboot policy may result in the terminal window's scroll history being exhausted.

The solution is to capture the debug session in memory, for inclusion in a system dump. Combined with debugger scripting and autoreboot, tailored debug information can then be automatically collected and saved in the dump. The system is returned (via autoreboot) to customer usage. Human intervention is not required, and the limitations in capturing the debugger output previously described are overcome.

This solution helps to expand some of the autonomic computing capabilities of the system. It builds upon the customized debugger scripting functionality to further both diagnosis and healing (restored system availability). By improving the ability to capture and save first -failure data while still supporting autoreboot, system up-time is preserved without debug data loss. The debugger can also provide some self-configuration capabilities. For example, if during a system crash the debugger detects no open s...