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Panic! Unix System Crash Dump Analysis

  • Chris Drake and Kimberly Brown
  • SunSoft Press Prentice Hall
  • ISBN: 0-13-149386-8
  • Includes CDROM

Amazon Order (or just read more about) Panic! from Amazon.com

This book is written for and about Sun systems, and uses adb rather than crash (crash is available on Sun).

In spite of the very strong Sun orientation, this is still worthwhile for anyone who wants to learn about analyzing kernel dumps, because a lot of the information is generic to any Unix.

But, there are problems. Even though I was working on a Sun system, I was unable to work through some of the examples in the book. It certainly could be my fault; I'm not the world's greatest expert at crash dump analysis.

There's now an official web site ( "http://www.piaffe.org/panic/" (link dead, sorry) that includes errata, known bugs, and new material.

You will need at least read-only ability with C and assembly language. Other than that, the authors don't assume a lot of kernel knowledge, and do a pretty good job of explaining what background you do need to have.

The book is heavy on adb (SCO non-development systems call it "_fst") and strongly Sun oriented. If your interest is SCO or Linux, and you have had no exposure to Sun at all, you might find some of this confusing, but if you hang in there and have faith, you still should gain some useful knowledge from this.

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