crash-python is a semantic debugger for the Linux kernel. It is meant to feel familiar for users of the classic crash debugger but allows much more powerful symbolic access to crash dumps as well as enabling an API for writing ad-hoc extensions, commands, and analysis scripts.

$ pycrash vmlinux-4.12.14-150.14-default.gz vmcore

crash-python initializing...
Loading tasks.... done. (170 tasks total)
Loading modules for 4.12.14-150.14-default.... done. (78 loaded)
[Switching to thread 170 (pid 27032)]
#0  sysrq_handle_crash (key=99) at ../drivers/tty/sysrq.c:146
146         *killer = 1;
Backtrace from crashing task (PID 27032):
#0  0xffffffffaa4b3682 in sysrq_handle_crash (key=99)
    at ../drivers/tty/sysrq.c:146
#1  0xffffffffaa4b3d34 in __handle_sysrq (key=99, check_mask=false)
    at ../drivers/tty/sysrq.c:559
#2  0xffffffffaa4b41eb in write_sysrq_trigger
    (file=<optimized out>, buf=<optimized out>, count=18446628512242465728, ppos=<optimized out>) at ../drivers/tty/sysrq.c:1105
#3  0xffffffffaa2b95b0 in proc_reg_write
    (file=<optimized out>, buf=<optimized out>, count=<optimized out>, ppos=<optimized out>) at ../fs/proc/inode.c:230
#4  0xffffffffaa246696 in __vfs_write
    (file=0x63 <irq_stack_union+99>, p=<optimized out>, count=<optimized out>, pos=0xffffa53fc0c5ff08) at ../fs/read_write.c:508
#5  0xffffffffaa247c2d in vfs_write
    (file=0xffff96e5a9a24c00, buf=0x560dc6656220 <error: Cannot access memory at address 0x560dc6656220>, count=<optimized out>, pos=0xffffa53fc0c5ff08)
    at ../fs/read_write.c:558
#6  0xffffffffaa249112 in SYSC_write
    (count=<optimized out>, buf=<optimized out>, fd=<optimized out>)
    at ../fs/read_write.c:605
#7  0xffffffffaa249112 in SyS_write
    (fd=<optimized out>, buf=94617163096608, count=2) at ../fs/read_write.c:597
#8  0xffffffffaa003ae4 in do_syscall_64 (regs=0x63 <irq_stack_union+99>)
    at ../arch/x86/entry/common.c:284
#9  0xffffffffaa80009a in entry_SYSCALL_64 ()
    at ../arch/x86/entry/entry_64.S:236
The 'pyhelp' command will list the command extensions.
py-crash> print *(struct file *)0xffff96e5a9a24c00
$1 = {
  f_u = {
    fu_llist = {
      next = 0x0 <irq_stack_union>
    fu_rcuhead = {
      next = 0x0 <irq_stack_union>,
      func = 0x0 <irq_stack_union>
  f_path = {
    mnt = 0xffff96e5b02d23a0,
    dentry = 0xffff96e4b65b06c0
  f_inode = 0xffff96e5ad464578,
  f_op = 0xffffffffaac4d940 <proc_reg_file_ops_no_compat>,
  f_lock = {
      rlock = {
        raw_lock = {
          val = {
            counter = 0
  f_write_hint = WRITE_LIFE_NOT_SET,

Full documentation can be found at

See the Installation instructions.

Quick Start

Crash-python requires the following to run properly:

  • The complete debuginfo for the kernel to be debugged, including modules
  • The ELF images for the kernel and all modules
  • The vmcore dump image from the crashed system

To start:

$ pycrash [options] <path-to-vmlinux> <path-to-vmcore>

Since different systems and users place these files in different locations, there are number of command-line options to locate them. On a typical SUSE system, if you have the kernel-default and kernel-default-debuginfo packages installed, you will not need to provide any additional options.

If you have expanded the RPMs separately into a different directory, you can start with:

$ pycrash -r /path/to/root <path-to-vmlinux> <path-to-vmcore>

If you’re debugging a kernel that you built from a source tree directly and installed using make INSTALL_MOD_STRIP=1 modules_install install, you can specify your build directory as a source for debuginfo:

$ pycrash -b /path/to/build/dir <path-to-vmlinux> <path-to-vmcore>

The full options are documented with:

$ pycrash --help


Copyright 2016-2019 Jeff Mahoney, SUSE.

crash-python is licensed under the GPLv2.

Indices and tables