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From Thom May <>
Subject Re: coredumps on Linux
Date Wed, 05 Mar 2003 23:51:22 GMT
* Greg Ames ( wrote :
> I mentioned this to other Apache folks around here and got some interesting 
> reactions:
> * If we don't control this with a directive, we might violate the rule of 
> least astonishment.  For example, admins might be living with some buggy 
> modules, and all of a sudden their disks fill up with unwanted coredump 
> files.  (Of course ServerRoot or CoreDumpDirectory would have to be 
> writable by the httpd User for that to happen.)

agreed; that really wouldn't be too pleasant!
> * If we do control this with a new directive and we don't make it very 
> clear that this is just a Linux 2.4+ thing, users might think that turning 
> on the new directive will magically solve all lack-of-coredump issues.  It 
> won't...there are Linux kernels < 2.4, ulimit -c, permission issues, and 
> the CoreDumpDirectory directive to name a few things, not to mention 
> sysadmin stuff you have to do on FreeBSD and Solaris.
> One solution might be to control it with CoreDumpDirectory.  If that's in 
> the config file, one would assume the admin wants coredumps on failures.
Once more, I have to agree - I only have CoreDumpDirectory enabled when I'm
actually chasing down problems - I never enable it for production servers.
However, we should document very clearly and obviously that setting 
CoreDumpDirectory will now produce cores even as root; it's entirely
possible that some admins don't remove the directive because they *know*
that we don't produce cores when running as root.
> I'm also curious about how admins with Linux production sites are dealing 
> with seg faults etc. today if they are not getting coredumps.
generally i run apache as a different user on a different port but with the
exact config I want for >48 hours before taking it live, that usually sorts
out any problems one way or another - if I do start seeing segfaults as
root then the only usual recourse is firing up gdb and running in single
process mode. This patch would be very useful in that respect.
+1 from me to have CoreDumpDirectory be able to enable core dumps from root
owned processes.
> Thanks,
> Greg

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