Kernel issues are rare, but when they do occur, it causes the functional machines on Linux OS to hang several times – both interruptible and non-interruptible. Determining the type and reason for linux server hangs is important to troubleshoot the situation effectively. Kernel panic error on Linux is an error from which a system cannot recover quickly and easily.
In case of kernel panic error, the system flags a safety precautionary warning to the system administrator indicating ignorance to the call could cause the disk to crash, resulting in significant data loss and interrupted hanging up of servers.
How Linux Keeps You In the Light?
Linux being a product of open-source development, the Kernel development in itself is open and collaborative. The kernel panic error is generally caused because of bad drivers, overtaxed memory and software bugs. Linux administrators study kernel panic to determine the root cause of the error and stack the dump thread that was running when the panic occurred.
To understand kernel panic error better in the context of Windows OS, it is colloquially referred to as the Blue Screen of Death.
Tools such as kexec/kdump, crash/lcrash and objdump are used to capture full memory dump and analyse the cause of panic. In some cases, kernel error shows up when the system experiences problems regards syncing of libraries and packages because they are broken. Some of the common causes of kernel errors are:
Software bug issue in the OS
Hardware failure to include RAM and compatibility issues
Kernel not configured correctly or installed properly
Kernel unable to locate the root file system
Missing device drivers or
Changes in configuration or file pathway
How To Troubleshoot The Kernel Panic Error?
Here are some simple DIY steps to troubleshoot the Kernel panic error, before reaching out to the Linux/system administrator for help:
Identify at what stage of the boot process does the system panic?
Try attempting to boot from the old kernel.
Examine the kernel lines closely to figure out the entry of initramfs file and distinguish carefully between the old and new kernel.
If initramfs file is missing in one of the old or new kernels, try creating them manually for new kernel after system reboot. Hope you do not get the dracut command failed.
Find reasons for initramfs file to go missing and check for the state of inodes on the /tmp file system, before proceeding to clean it up. Once inodes are freed, initramfs files can be created manually.
Reboot the system again now from the new Kernel, your system should now be up and running for use again.
These steps are a quick fix DIY guide to resolving one-off kernel issues on Linux OS. If the error recurs again, then reach out to linux experts from the support community or call for help from technicians to resolve such issues permanently.