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Obtaining Panic Information for Developers

Crash dump functionality is built into every kernel on current versions of pfSense® software. Crash dumps are automatically saved on Full installs with swap space, or printed to the serial console on other platforms.

Viewing and Submitting a Crash Dump

After a panic/crash leading to a reboot, a box will appear on the dashboard to view and automatically submit a crash report. If the crash report is submitted, call attention to it on the forum where a developer with sufficient access can retrieve the report and analyze it.

Submitted crash dumps must be located by IP address and timestamp. When referencing a crash dump on the forum or elsewhere, be sure to include the IP address from which the report was submitted (the default route WAN IP address) plus the approximate time and time zone from which it it was submitted.

Crash Dump Format

The crash dumps are in FreeBSD textdump format and held in /var/crash after they have been recovered.

Serial Console Crash Dump

On systems with a serial console, connect to the serial console and record the scrollback buffer when a crash happens, or there may not be a way to retrieve the crash dump otherwise.

Full Install without Swap Space

If the system is running a full installation without swap space, it may not be able to take a crash dump or automatically restart, and may stop at a “db>” prompt on the console. Capture the output there, and also the output of the “bt” command at that prompt, then manually restart the unit.