Creating a crashdump with VMware Workstation

This document (7009637) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP 1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP4
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
VMware Workstation 7
VMware Workstation 8

Situation

SLES 10 or SLES 11 Virtual Machine (VM) running under VMware Workstation 7 or VMware Workstation 8  does panic, hang or show some performance issues. The goal now is to create a checkpoint and use a debugger to discover what the guest was doing before achieving such a state.

Resolution

To solve this issue there are two possibilities:
  1. Create a Snapshot of the VM
    for that it is needed to hit the button 'Snapshot' of the menu, or go through
    VM -> Snapshot -> Take Snapshot
  2. Suspend the VM
    through VM -> Power -> Suspend Guest 
With the above done the corresponding files for the snapshot (.vmsn) and the suspend file (.vmss) are located in the virtual machine directory.

Now the 'vmss2core' tool can be used to convert the virtual machine checkpoint into a core crash dump file which is, for example, readable with gdb or crash.

To convert a .vmsn or .vmss file into a file readable with crash the following commands can be used:
vmss2core -N6 <filename>.vmsn 
vmss2core -N6 <filename>.vmss
Then the generated core file is 'vmss.core'.

For more information, please have a look at the official documentation and Article from VMware:
 
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/snapshot2core_technote.pdf
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2003941

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7009637
  • Creation Date: 26-Oct-2011
  • Modified Date:04-Mar-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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