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Lustre Debugging Procedures

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(Updated: Feb 2010)

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The procedures below may be useful to administrators or developers debugging a Lustre™ file system.

Understanding the Lustre debug messaging format

Lustre debug messages are categorized by originating subsystem, message type, and location in the source code. For a list of subsystems and message types, see Section 24.1: Lustre Debug Messages in the Lustre Operations Manual.

Note: For a current list of subsystems and debug message types, see lnet/include/libcfs/libcfs.h in the Lustre tree.

The elements of a Lustre debug message are described in Section 24.1.1: Format of Lustre Debug Messages in the Lustre Operations Manual.

Using the lctl tool to view debug messages

The lctl tool allows debug messages to be filtered based on subsystems and message types to extract information useful for troubleshooting from a kernel debug log. For more information about the lctl tool, see Section 24.2.3: The lctl Tool and Section 32.3: lctl in the Lustre Operations Manual.

A sample lctl run is shown in Section 24.2.7: Sample lctl Run in the Lustre Operations Manual.

Using the lctl debug daemon option to dump the buffer to a file

The debug_daemon option is used by lctl to control the dumping of the debug_kernel buffer to a user-specified file. For more information about the debug daemon including a list of commands, see Section 24.2.1: Debug Daemon Option to lctl in the Lustre Operations Manual.

Controlling the information written to the kernel debug log

Masks are provided in /proc/sys/lnet/subsystem_debug and /proc/sys/lnet/debug to be used with the systctl command to determine what information is to be written to the debug log. For more information and examples, see Section 24.2.2: Controlling the Kernel Debug Log and Section 21.3: Debug Support in the Lustre Operations Manual.

Using strace to trace system calls

The strace utility provided with the Linux distribution enables a system call to be traced by intercepting all the systems calls made by a process and record the system call name, arguments, and return values. For more details and examples, see Section 24.3: Troubleshooting with strace in the Lustre Operations Manual.

Looking at disk content

In Lustre, the inodes on the metadata server contain extended attributes (EAs) that store information about file striping. EAs contain a list of all object IDs and their locations (that is, the OST that stores them). The lfs tool can be used to obtain this information for a given file via the getstripe sub-command. For more information, see see Section 24.4: Looking at Disk Content in the Lustre Operations Manual.

Finding the Lustre UUID of an OST

To determine the Lustre UUID of an obdfilter disk (for example, if you mix up the cables on your OST devices, or the SCSI bus numbering suddenly changes and the SCSI devices get new names), use debugfs to get the last_rcvd file.


Printing debug messages to the console

To dump debug messages to the console (/var/log/messages), set the corresponding debug mask in the printk flag:

sysctl -w lnet.printk=-1

This slows down the system dramatically, so it is also possible to selectively enable or disable this capability for particular flags:

sysctl -w lnet.printk=+vfstrace
sysctl -w lnet.printk=-vfstrace

It is possible to disable warning, error, and console messages, though it is strongly recommended to have something like lctl debug_daemon running to capture this data to a local file system for debugging purposes.

Tracing lock traffic

Lustre has a specific debug type category for tracing lock traffic. Use:

lctl> filter all_types
lctl> show dlmtrace
lctl> debug_kernel [filename]
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