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Retrieving Core files from Cisco Nexus switching platforms

I. Introduction


This document provides common steps and commands used to retrieve core files in Nexus switching platforms -  Nexus7000, Nexus5000, Nexus 4000, Nexus 3000 and Nexus2000.


II. Technical Background Information:


NX-OS is a full-featured, modular, and scalable Cisco networking operating system available for entire Nexus switching platforms.

For more information, please review the information and documents provided at:


NX-OS runs on Linux Kernel. From kernel's perspective all the NX-OS processes are run in the "User" space. Available DRAM are split into two regions: (1) Kernel space (a.k.a Low Memory region) and (2) User space (a.k.a High Memory region).


The kernel needs memory to store its own text, data, and  Kernel Loadable Modules (KLMs). KLMs are pieces of code that are loaded  into the kernel (as opposed to being a separate user process). An  example of kernel memory usage is when an inband port driver allocates  memory to receive packets.
User processes
This memory is used by Cisco NX-OS processes (along with Kernel processes that are not integrated into the kernel)





III. What is a Core file ?


Core file is same as crashinfo file generated in Cisco IOS platforms, but with more log and system files bundled together into a tar file.


Core file is generated when a process crash or experience an exception.


Contents of a core file - generated by Nexus7000 switch:



IV. Crash / Exception:


When a specific process (called as Service) crahes, the device should report a log message, as follows:


Scenario 1:


%SYSMGR-2-SERVICE_CRASHED: Service "vpc" (PID 5883) hasn't caught signal 11 (core will be saved)


Here, service "vpc" has crashed and a core file will be saved.


Scenario 2:


The device may report message, with no core file created.


%SYSMGR-2-SERVICE_CRASHED: Service "stp" (PID 4668) hasn't caught signal 9 (no core).


Here, sevice "stp" crashed but has not generated any core file.


V. Retreiving Core files:


For Scenario 1 (as mentioned above):


If there is a process crash/exception reported and the switch has NOT reloaded (since the exception/crash), then do "show cores" to get list of cores.


N7K# show cores

VDC Module Instance Process-name     PID       Date(Year-Month-Day Time)

--- ------ -------- --------------- -------- -------------------------

1   6       1         vpc             4763     2011-01-10 11:33:01

1   6       1         vpc             5883     2011-01-10 11:33:05


Please do "show cores vdc-all" to see core files in all VDCs.


The above results indicate that the exception was reported for "vpc" service in VDC #1, Module #6.

The results provide different Process ID (PID) - 4763 and 5883 - the specific process had at exception, with timestamps.

Instance number will be useful to identify the core files when a specific process with same PID (for the same VDC) experience multiple exceptions.


Please be aware that "show cores" command do NOT provide any information,  if the switch has rebooted since the exception.


To copy the core files to FTP or TFTP server, follow the steps:


N7K# copy core:?

   core: Enter URL "core://<module-number>/<process-id>[/instance-num]“


N7K# copy core://6/4763/1 ?

   bootflash: Select destination filesystem

   ftp:       Select destination filesystem

   scp:       Select destination filesystem

   sftp:      Select destination filesystem

   slot0:     Select destination filesystem

   tftp:      Select destination filesystem

   usb1:      Select destination filesystem

   usb2:      Select destination filesystem


The above command collects all relevant info (system info, log files etc.) from the switch and bundles them into .tar file.

It is NOT recommended to copy files directly from different filesystems manually.


If the switch has rebooted, do following command to see if there are core files generated earlier:


N7K# dir logflash://sup-1/core 

100499456   Aug 29 22:36:54 2011 0x501_ethpm_core.16574

   8638991   Aug 29 22:45:14 2011 0x501_ethpm_core.4165.gz

     37139   Aug 29 22:36:54 2011 0x501_ethpm_log.16574

   7699061   Aug 29 22:36:32 2011 0x501_ethpm_log.16576.tar.gz

   8208542   Aug 29 22:36:32 2011 0x501_ethpm_log.4165.tar.gz

   7698622   Aug 29 22:45:30 2011 1314657930_0x501_ethpm_log.16576.tar.gz

   8208230   Aug 29 22:45:30 2011 1314657930_0x501_ethpm_log.4165.tar.gz


If there is Supervisor failover occurred, please check the other/standby sup for core files.


N7K# dir logflash://sup-2/core


In Nexus5000, Nexus4000, Nexus3000 and Nexus2000 platforms, as there is no supervisor engine redundancy, there will not be any failover.




In Nexus5000, Nexus4000, Nexus3000 and Nexus2000 platforms the core files are stored in the "volatile:" and not in the "logflash:" file system.


N3k-3# dir volatile:?







Please be aware that contents of "volatile:" file system are flushed on reload.


For Scenario 2 (as mentioned above):


N7K# show process log vdc-all

VDC Process         PID     Normal-exit Stack Core   Log-create-time

--- --------------- ------ ----------- ----- ----- ---------------

1 installer       10544             N     N     N Thu Jun 10 17:49:21 2010

1 ethpm           16574             N     Y     N Mon Aug 29 22:36:15 2011


Here, the "ethpm" sevice crashed and generated "Stack" (flagged with Y) but no "Core" file (flagged with N).

At the same, for the "installer" process, neither "Stack" nor "Core" file is generated.


For the "installer" process, furher information can be obtained by:


N7K# show process log pid 10544

Service: installer

Description: Installer

Started at Thu Jun 10 17:45:42 2010 (483528 us)

Stopped at Thu Jun 10 17:49:21 2010 (719259 us)

Uptime: 3 minutes 39 seconds



Last heartbeat 0.00 secs ago

RLIMIT_AS: 69909875

System image name: n7000-s1-dk9.4.2.4.bin

System image version: 4.2(4) S32


PID: 10544

SAP: 0



For the "ethpm" process, the stack trace can be obtained by:


N7K# show process log pid 16574

Service: ethpm

Description: Test Ethernet Port Manager

Executable: /isan/bin/ethpm

Started at Mon Aug 29 22:36:15 2011 (188136 us)

Stopped at Mon Aug 29 22:36:15 2011 (746741 us)

Uptime: 0 seconds




Virtual Memory:

   CODE     08048000 - 08356C90

   DATA     08357000 - 08369BA8

   BRK       083F0000 - 086F9000

   STACK     BFBB25C0

   TOTAL     98996 KB


Memory Map: 08048000 ethp 08357000 ethp 4143F000 ld-2.8.s 41459000 ld-2.8.s 4145

A000 ld-2.8.s 4145D000 libc-2.8.s 41596000 libc-2.8.s 41598000 libc-2.8.s 4159E0


Register Set:

   EBX BFBB0ADC         ECX 00000000         EDX 00000002

   ESI BFBB15B0         EDI 00000009         EBP BFBB1148


Stack: 6976 bytes. ESP BFBB0A80, TOP BFBB25C0

0xBFBB0A80: 0000001F 00000000 00000000 00000001 ................



VI. Why the core file is missing ? :


If the switch does not have enough space in the specific filesystem (logflash: or volatile: depending on the platform), then the core file may not be successfully generated/stored.


N7K# dir logflash://sup-1/

Usage for logflash://sup-1

  498237440 bytes used

7394926592 bytes free

7893164032 bytes total


To check the free space available in different file systems, you can also do:


N7K# show system internal flash

Mount-on                  1K-blocks      Used   Available   Use%  Filesystem

/                            409600     61372      348228     15   /dev/root

/proc                             0         0           0      0   proc

/sys                              0         0           0      0   none

/isan                       1048576    339184      709392     33   none


/bootflash                  1809684    673252     1044504     40   /dev/hda3


/logflash                   7708168     95004     7221608      2   /dev/hde1

/bootflash_sup-remote       1809688    672952     1044808     40

/logflash_sup-remote        7708168     34976     7281640      1


Same set of commands, from a Nexus3000 switch:


N3K# dir volatile://sup-1/

Usage for volatile://sup-1

          0 bytes used

  104857600 bytes free

  104857600 bytes total


N3K# sh system internal flash

Mount-on                  1K-blocks      Used   Available   Use%  Filesystem

/                            204800    112436       92364     55   /dev/root

/proc                             0         0           0      0   proc

/post                          2048         4        2044      1   none

/sys                              0         0           0      0   none


/volatile                    102400         0      102400      0   none

/debug                        20480         8       20472      1   none


/bootflash                  1609984    582492      945708     39   /dev/sda3



VII. Logs/Files to Capture:


If further analysis required on process exception / core files, please open a Service Request and send following logs:


- show cores vdc-all

- Core files saved using "copy core://<module-number>/<process-id>[/instance-num]..." command

- show process log vdc-all

- show process log details

- show logging onboard internal reset-reason

- show logging onboard stack-trace

- show logging onboard kernel-trace

- show module internal exceptionlog module <mod#>


Please make sure all these logs are captured to a file(s), as the logs may go several pages.


VIII. Further Information:


Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Troubleshooting Guides:

Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches Configuration Guides:

Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches Command Reference Guides:


For comments and feedback, please contact the author Yogesh Ramdoss at

Version history
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Last update:
‎06-06-2012 10:42 AM
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Labels (1)
Cisco Employee

Nice Doc Yogesh!

New Member

Is there any "sensitive" data (ip address, usernames, etc.) in these core files?

Cisco Employee


No, the core files do not have any sensitive data like configurations, usernames, IP addresses etc.



New Member

Thank you for the quick response.