What is a sosreport and how to create one in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.6 and later?


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.6 or later 4.x
  • Red Hat Enterprise MRG



What is a sosreport:

The sosreport command is a tool that collects configuration details, system information and diagnostic information from a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system. For instance: the running kernel version, loaded modules, and system and service configuration files. The command also runs external programs to collect further information, and stores this output in the resulting archive.

The output of sosreport is the common starting point for Red Hat support engineers when performing an initial analysis of a service request for a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system.

How to run sosreport:

Once the sos package has been installed, issue the following command to run sosreport:

# sosreport
  • Note: sosreport requires root permissions to run.
  • Hangs: sosreport can take a long time to run, but if the command is not completing/hung: follow the steps in What to do if sosreport hangs.
  • If you get "command not found" error, verify sos package has been installed and installation has no errors.

The command will normally complete within a few minutes on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Older versions may take longer to complete. Depending on local configuration and the options specified in some cases the command may take longer to finish. If you are concerned about the run time of the sosreport command contact your Red Hat support representative for assistance.

Once completed, sosreport will generate a compressed a file under /tmp (for RHEL6 and earlier) or under /var/tmp (for RHEL7 and later). Different versions use different compression schemes (gz, bz2, or xz). The file should be provided to your support representative (normally as an attachment to an open support case).

The size of the archive varies depending on system configuration and any optional sosreport features that are enabled (for example specifying the "all_logs" option of the general module to collect all syslog log files may greatly increase the size of the archive).

To post sosreport, or any other file, to a existing support case you can use the redhat-support-tool command line option, the Red Hat Portal UI or several different methods using FTP.

If the collected sosreport file is too big to upload to the case, it could be uploaded to the Red Hat ftp dropbox.redhat.com site.

To avoid the need to enter user and account information interactively the command may be run in batch mode by use of the --batch option. In this case user information is obtained from the system RHN configuration files:

# sosreport --batch

The sosreport command has a modular structure and allows the user to enable and disable modules and specify module options via the command line. To list available modules (plug-ins) use the following command:

# sosreport -l

To temporarily turn off a module:

Include it in a comma-separated list of modules passed to the -n/--skip-plugins option.

For instance, to temporarily disable both the kvm and amd modules (if broken):

# sosreport -n kvm,amd

Individual modules may provide additional options that may be specified via the -k option. For example on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 installations the sos rpm module collects "rpm -Va" output by default. As this may be time-consuming the behavior may be disabled via:

# sosreport -k rpm.rpmva=off

Running sosreport on RHN Proxy Server
To capture more detailed information on RHN Proxy Server, run the following command:

# sosreport -o rhn


1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.5 and earlier include the older sysreport command for creating diagnostic archives. If possible update your system to the sos package included in later releases however sysreports may still be submitted to Red Hat if needed What is a sysreport and how to run it in Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

2. The sos package in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 also includes the sysreport command. This is a symbolic link provided for backwards compatibility:

# ls -l /usr/sbin/sysreport
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 19 Nov  3  2008 /usr/sbin/sysreport -> /usr/sbin/sosreport

To use the original (legacy) version of the sysreport script on these installations use the sysreport.legacy command:

# sysreport.legacy

This utility will go through and collect some detailed information about the hardware and setup of your Red Hat Linux system. This information will be used to diagnose problems with your system and will be considered confidential information. Red Hat will use this information for diagnostic purposes ONLY.

Installing sosreport:

The sos package must be installed in order to run the sosreport command. The package is part of the default group and will be installed automatically on most systems. You can check to see if the sos package is installed and whether there is any problems with the installation using the following command:

# rpm -qa | grep sos
sos-3.2-35.el7_2.3.noarch                  << sos package is installed
# rpm -V sos                               << run verification on installed package

If for any reason the package is not present you will receive errors when attempting to run the command such as:

# sosreport
-bash: sosreport: command not found

Then the sos package, including the sosreport command, must be manually installed using the following steps:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and later

    • If the system is registered with RHSM, use the yum command:

      # yum install sos
    • If the system is not registered with RHSM, the sos package can be downloaded from the RHN website or found on the installation CDs or DVD. The rpm command may be used to install the package on any version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

      # rpm -Uvh sos-<version>.noarch.rpm
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Update 6 or later

    • If the system is registered with Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM), sos can be installed using the up2date command:

      # up2date sos

What to do if sosreport hangs:

  • RHEL5 Warning: If running on RHEL5, background the sosreport process (ctrl-z) before killing it via its PID. Otherwise you may encounter the issue documented in KCS#55275

  • Disk Space Issues: If sosreport fails due to "No space left on device"

    • Verify there is enough space on the filesystem containing /tmp and free additional space if needed:

      # df -h /tmp
      Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
                             50G   49G    1M  99% /
    • Or, Generate sosreport to an alternative location

  • Hangs: The sosreport may have hung because of a specific plugin

    • You can show all available sosreport plugin modules via:

      sosreport -l
    • Try to determine which plugin it is hanging on.

      • Increase verbosity sosreport -vvvv

        • If a plugin times out or last plugin does not finish, rerun the sosreport and skip that plugin:

          sosreport -v -n <plugin_name>
        • For example, to exclude the block and filesys plugin modules:

          sosreport -n block,filesys
      • strace it and once you determine which plugin it is hanging on, exclude it via above.

  • Other: Otherwise, instead of collecting the failure sosreport, a manual report may be created by running the following script. Note this will only be a portion of what is collected in a standard sosreport.

      rpm -Va > rpm-Va     #this command may take a while to run  
      ulimit -a > ulimit  
      uname -a > uname  
      uptime > uptime  
      cat /proc/meminfo > meminfo  
      cat /proc/cpuinfo > cpuinfo  
      mkdir etc  
      cd etc  
      cp /etc/fstab .
      cp /etc/cluster/cluster.conf .
      cp /etc/security/limits.conf .  
      cp /etc/redhat-release .  
      cp /etc/sysctl.conf .  
      cp /etc/modprobe.conf .  
      mkdir sysconfig/network-scripts -p  
      cd sysconfig  
      cp /etc/sysconfig/* . -R  
      cd $sos_dir
      mkdir var/log -p  
      cp /var/log/message* var/log -R  
      cd /tmp  
      tar -cvjf ${host}_hungsos.tar.bz2 $sos_dir


Side effects of sosreport:

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