How to provide files to Red Hat Support (vmcore, rhev logcollector, sosreports, heap dumps, log files, etc.)

Solution Verified - Updated -

Environment

  • Red Hat Global Support Services anonymous FTP - dropbox.redhat.com
  • Files that needs to be sent to Red Hat Global Support Services

Issue

  • How to provide large files to Red Hat Support (vmcore, rhev logcollector, large sosreports, heap dumps, large log files, etc.)
  • How to upload files to Red Hat's FTP dropbox.redhat.com?
  • Customer portal case screen allows to upload files less then 1GB only. How to upload large files to Red Hat Technical Support?
  • Production server crashed, how to attach document, screenshot, crashdump(kdump)?
  • After hard reboot, collected data like tcpdump, strace, top, ps, vmstat, iostat and reports for analysis. Whom can I send ?
  • System hang and would like to know the reason behind it, where can I provide data for analysis ?
  • Unable to send files to dropbox.redhat.com:/incoming.

Resolution

Contents

  1. Upload files via Customer Portal
  2. Splitting files into parts for upload
  3. Red Hat Support Tool
  4. Secure FTP
  5. FTP
  6. FTP using curl with a proxy server

Upload files via Customer Portal

  • Refer Attaching files via Portal UI for attaching files with less than 1GB size via Red Hat Customer Portal.
    Please Note: vmcore (crash dump) files, regardless of their size, should always be uploaded to the FTP server1. The sosreport files should be attached to the support case through the web interface whenever possible. These actions help speed the support process.

Splitting files into parts for upload

While some customers have no problem uploading 50GB vmcore files to dropbox.redhat.com, others have problems with anything over 1-2GB in size. Sometimes large FTP uploads do not complete reliably either due to file size or network congestion or other issues resulting in failure to complete the upload successfully. Many public FTP servers (such as dropbox.redhat.com) use blind upload directories, failed uploads to these servers must be resumed from the beginning of the file.

If you have had trouble uploading a file in the past to either the support case or dropbox.redhat.com due to size, network stability, or other issues, then the file should be split into parts and each smaller part uploaded. The current recommendation when splitting a large file, such as a vmcore, into parts is to break the file into 1GB chunks as a starting point. If that still fails, fallback to 512m size and try again.

  • The splitcommand can be used to break a large file into smaller chunks for upload to dropbox.redhat.com or to the support case within the Red Hat Customer Portal. If a single chunk upload fails, only the upload of that chunk needs to be retried.

    • For example, the following splits a large 8.5GiB vmcore file into 9 smaller files for upload. The -b 1024m command line option limits the split file size to a maximum of 1024MB (1GiB) each.

      # ls -ltrh largefile.tar.xz
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root    root    8.5G Feb 20 13:54 largefile.tar.xz
      # split -b 1024m -a 2 -d largefile.tar.xz largefile.tar.xz.part
      # ls -ltrh largefile.tar.xz.*
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root root 1.0G Feb 21 10:01 largefile.tar.xz.part00
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root root 1.0G Feb 21 10:01 largefile.tar.xz.part01
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root root 1.0G Feb 21 10:01 largefile.tar.xz.part02
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root root 1.0G Feb 21 10:01 largefile.tar.xz.part03
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root root 1.0G Feb 21 10:01 largefile.tar.xz.part04
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root root 1.0G Feb 21 10:01 largefile.tar.xz.part05
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root root 1.0G Feb 21 10:01 largefile.tar.xz.part06
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root root 1.0G Feb 21 10:02 largefile.tar.xz.part07
      -rw-rw-r--. 1 root root 508M Feb 21 10:02 largefile.tar.xz.part08
      
    • The parts can be reassembled using cat command.

      # ls -1c -v largefile.tar.xz.part* | xargs -I {} cat {} >> largefile.tar.xz
      
    • See man split for further information and command options.

Red Hat Support Tool

  • To Case: To upload files directly from your system, you can also use Red Hat Support Tool (redhat-support-tool). It gives you flexibility and also scripting capabilities. The simplest way to upload a normal-size file, e.g.: sosreport, is this:

    $ redhat-support-tool addattachment -c CASE_NUMBER /path/to/sosreport
    
  • To Dropbox FTP:

    • This will upload your file directly to the Customer Portal. If you want to upload to the FTP site, use the "-f" option:

      $ redhat-support-tool addattachment -c CASE_NUMBER -f /path/to/sosreport
      
    • Split Files and upload to FTP: If you have a very big vmcore file and you don't have access to the Dropbox FTP site, you can split your file with the "-s" option of newer versions of the support tool to upload the file to the Customer Portal:

      $ redhat-support-tool addattachment -c CASE_NUMBER -s /path/to/vmcore
      
    • The facility has also been tested using the multi-platform GUI FTP client from http://filezilla-project.org/.

Secure FTP

For files larger than 1GB

  • In addition to the process described above, dropbox.redhat.com now supports uploading files using encrypted data connections through the use of the FTP-ES (explicit mode; "require explicit FTP over TLS") protocol.
  • Additionally, dropbox-ssl.redhat.com can be accessed via secure FTP (FTP over SSL, explicit). It has the external IP hardcoded into the FTP software configuration. This configuration is required by strictly RFC compliant FTP client/proxies.
  • The certificate of the ftps service on dropbox.redhat.com is signed by "C=US,O=DigiCert Inc,OU=www.digicert.com,CN=DigiCert High Assurance EV Root CA".

  • For example, "testfile" can be uploaded using FTP-ES using the "lftp" console FTP client in the following fashion (backslash separated for clarity):

    # lftp -v -c 'open -e "set ftps:initial-prot ""; \
    set ftp:ssl-force true; \
    set ftp:ssl-protect-data true; \
    set ssl:verify-certificate true; \
    open anonymous:ftp@dropbox.redhat.com ; \
    cd incoming ; \
    put testfile'
    
    • Note: If using a proxy server with Secure FTP it may be necessary to add the line set ftp:proxy http://HOST:PORT to the command above using your proxy parameters.

      # lftp -v -c 'open -e "set ftps:initial-prot ""; \
      set ftp:ssl-force true; \
      set ftp:ssl-protect-data true; \
      set ssl:verify-certificate true; \
      set ftp:proxy http://HOST:PORT ; \
      open anonymous:ftp@dropbox.redhat.com ; \
      cd incoming ; \
      put testfile'
      

FTP

For files larger than 1GB

  • Red Hat has a publicly available anonymous FTP site where anyone can upload files that may not be uploaded correctly to the Red Hat Customer Portal.

  • These files can be uploaded to the anonymous FTP site dropbox.redhat.com, and placed in the /incoming directory. When logging in to the FTP server, please provide the username "anonymous" and use your email address as the password.

  • If uploading a vmcore file that is very large and has not had all non-critical pages filtered out (that is kdump did not use makedumpfile -d 31) then use this command to filter out the pages and then continue to upload the output file for analysis.

    # makedumpfile -c -d 31 <vmcore> <output file>
    
  • Prior to uploading the file, please compress the file using gzip or zip and uniquely name the resulting archive file. The recommended name prefix should be your case number followed by a date or time string or other uniquely identifying information. For example:

    $ tar czfS /tmp/001234-$(date +%s)-vmcore.tar.gz myvmcore
    $ tar czfS /tmp/001234-$(date +%s)-logs.tar.gz mylogdir/
    
  • If the file is very large, you can split it in parts (without causing problem to its content) and then upload it. See Splitting files into parts for upload below.

  • When the file is successfully uploaded, please provide the support engineer with the exact file name and MD5 or SHA1 message digest of the uploaded files.

  • Note:

    • Files uploaded via this method are uploaded insecurely
    • No files can be downloaded from this FTP site
    • The files listed under the /incoming directory on this site can not be seen nor can a new directory be created
    • You will not be able to overwrite an existing file so ensure a unique name is used
    • You will not be able to resume an upload as this requires the ability to write to an existing file
    • Ensure all files are transferred in binary format (not text or ASCII mode)
    • Ensure you are using passive FTP mode
    • If your firewall does not allow passive FTP mode you may connect to origin-dropbox.redhat.com using active mode.
  • Here's a quick walk through.

    • First open the FTP connection

      $ ftp dropbox.redhat.com
      Connected to dropbox.redhat.com (XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX).
      220 (vsFTPd 2.0.1)
      Name (dropbox.redhat.com:user): anonymous
      331 Please specify the password.
      Password: user@domain
      230 Login successful.
      Remote system type is UNIX.
      Using binary mode to transfer files.
      ftp>
      
    • Credentials
      server: dropbox.redhat.com
      user: anonymous
      password: user@domain

    • If it says "Using text mode to transfer files", then you need to change the transfer mode to binary by typing "bin"

      ftp> bin
      200 Switching to Binary mode.
      ftp>
      
    • Change to the /incoming directory

      ftp> cd incoming
      +---------------------------------------------------------------+
      |        Welcome to Red Hat Global Support Services FTP!        |
      |                                                               |
      |     Please note: the "ls" command is disabled by design.      |
      |     You will receive this error if you attempt to run "ls":   |
      |                                                               |
      |      ls: 550 Permission denied.                               |
      |                                                               |
      |  If you are uploading a file for Technical Support, you       |
      |  must include your support ticket number in the filename      |
      |  and inform your technician of the upload. Files with names   |
      |  that do not follow this convention, such as vmcore or        |
      |  vmcore.gz will be deleted.                                   |
      |                                                               |
      |  To upload a core successfully, please do the following:      |
      |                                                               |
      |  ftp> cd incoming                                             |
      |  ftp> put [casenumber]-[file]                                 |
      |                                                               |
      |     - Passive transfers are supported, if you require active  |
      |       transfers please connect to origin-dropbox.redhat.com   |
      |     - Upload resume is supported.                             |
      +---------------------------------------------------------------+
      250 Directory successfully changed.
      ftp>
      
    • You will notice that you cannot do an "ls" to list the files in /incoming nor can you create a new directory. This is intentional.

    • You can start uploading the files by using the "put" command. Most users should enable passive mode. For example, if you are using ftp command in Linux, run "passive" to toggle the Passive mode to "on":

      ftp> passive
      Passive mode off.
      ftp> passive
      Passive mode on.
      ftp>
      
    • For Windows ftp command, run "literal pasv" to change to passive mode:

      ftp> literal pasv
      227 Entering Passive Mode (XXX,XXX,XXX,XXX,XXX,XX)
      ftp>
      
    • Then proceed to upload the file using one of the commands below. Replace [filename] with the name of the file you want to upload. If the file is not in current directory then you should specify the destination as shown below:

       ftp> put [filename]
      
       ftp> put /some/path/[filename] /incoming/[filename]
      
    • And type "bye", or "quit", when you have finished uploading the files

      ftp> bye
      221 Goodbye.
      
  • To compute the MD5 message digest of the files you uploaded, run

     $ md5sum [filename]
    
    • Or, alternatively, to compute the SHA1 message digest of the files you uploaded, run

       $ sha1sum [filename]
      

Alternate mode using curl with proxy server

  • You can also upload files directly from your server with a simple command using your local proxy:

    # curl -T vmcore-case-no-99999999 -x http://yourproxy.example.com:8080 ftp://dropbox.redhat.com/incoming/
      % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                     Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
     99  607M    0     0   99  606M      0  1122k  0:09:13  0:09:13 --:--:-- 1214k226 File receive OK.
    100  607M    0    22  100  607M      0  1121k  0:09:14  0:09:14 --:--:-- 1042k
    
  • Note:

    • Files uploaded via this method are uploaded insecurely
    • No files can be downloaded from this FTP site
    • The files listed under the /incoming directory on this site can not be seen nor can a new directory be created
    • You will not be able to overwrite an existing file so ensure a unique name is used
    • You will not be able to resume an upload as this requires the ability to write to an existing file
    • Ensure all files are transferred in binary format (not text or ASCII mode)

Footnotes


  1. If you do not have access to FTP, then you can split the vmcore file into parts and submit them as attachments to the support case. 

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