What Is sosreport? And How It Helps To Troubleshoot Issue In Linux

What Is sosreport

The sosreport command is a tool that collects bunch of configuration details, system information and diagnostic information from running system (especially RHEL & OEL system).

It helps technical support engineer to analyze the system in many aspect.

This reports contains bunch of information about the system such as boot information, filesystem, memory, hostname, installed rpms, system IP, networking details, OS version, installed kernel, loaded kernel modules, list of open files, list of PCI devices, mount point and it’s details, running process information, process tree output, system routing, all the configuration files which is located in /etc folder, and all the log files which is located in /var folder.

This will take a while to generate a report and it’s depends on your system installation and configuration.

Once completed, sosreport will generate a compressed archive file under /tmp directory.

We have to provide the sosreport to RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) & OEL (Oracle Enterprise Linux) technical support engineer whenever we raise a case with them for initial analyze. This helps support engineer to verify if anything is wrong on the system.

How To Install sosreport

sosreport installation is not a big deal, just run the following command to install it.

For RHEL/CentOS, use YUM Command to install sosreport.

# yum install sos

For Debian/Ubuntu, use APT-GET Command or APT Command to install sosreport.

# apt-get install sosreport

How To Generate sosreport

Also generating sosreport is not a big deal so, just run the sosreport command without any options.

By default it doesn’t shows much information while generating sosreport and only display how many reports are generated. If you want to see detailed information just add -v option while generating the sosreport.

It will ask you to enter your name and the support case information.

# sosreport

sosreport (version 3.2)

This command will collect diagnostic and configuration information from this Oracle Linux system and installed applications.

An archive containing the collected information will be generated in /tmp/sos.3pt1yJ and may be provided to a Oracle USA support representative.

Any information provided to Oracle USA will be treated in accordance with the published support policies at:


The generated archive may contain data considered sensitive and its content should be reviewed by the originating organization before being passed to any third party.

No changes will be made to system configuration.

Press ENTER to continue, or CTRL-C to quit.

Please enter your first initial and last name [oracle.2daygeek.com]: 2daygeek
Please enter the case id that you are generating this report for []: 3-16619296812

Setting up archive ...
Setting up plugins ...
dbname must be supplied to dump a database.
Running plugins. Please wait ...

  Running 86/86: yum...
[plugin:kvm] could not unmount /sys/kernel/debug
Creating compressed archive...

Your sosreport has been generated and saved in:

The checksum is: 4e80226ae175bm185c0o2d7u2yoac52o

Please send this file to your support representative.

What Are The Details There In The Archive File

I’m just curious, what kind of details are there in the archive file. To understand this, i gonna extract a archive file on my system.

Run the following command to extract an archive file.

# tar -xf /tmp/sosreport-2daygeek.3-16619296812-20180307124921.tar.xz

To see what are the information captured by sosreport, go to file extracted directory.

# ls -lh sosreport-2daygeek.3-16619296812-20180307124921

total 60K
dr-xr-xr-x  4 root root 4.0K Sep 30 10:56 boot
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   37 Oct 20 07:25 chkconfig -> sos_commands/startup/chkconfig_--list
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   25 Oct 20 07:25 date -> sos_commands/general/date
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   27 Oct 20 07:25 df -> sos_commands/filesys/df_-al
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   31 Oct 20 07:25 dmidecode -> sos_commands/hardware/dmidecode
drwxr-xr-x 43 root root 4.0K Oct 20 07:21 etc
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   24 Oct 20 07:25 free -> sos_commands/memory/free
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   29 Oct 20 07:25 hostname -> sos_commands/general/hostname
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root  130 Oct 20 07:25 installed-rpms -> sos_commands/rpm/sh_-c_rpm_--nodigest_-qa_--qf_NAME_-_VERSION_-_RELEASE_._ARCH_INSTALLTIME_date_awk_-F_printf_-59s_s_n_1_2_sort_-f
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   34 Oct 20 07:25 ip_addr -> sos_commands/networking/ip_-o_addr
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   45 Oct 20 07:25 java -> sos_commands/java/alternatives_--display_java
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root 4.0K Sep 30 10:56 lib
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   35 Oct 20 07:25 lsb-release -> sos_commands/lsbrelease/lsb_release
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   25 Oct 20 07:25 lsmod -> sos_commands/kernel/lsmod
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   36 Oct 20 07:25 lsof -> sos_commands/process/lsof_-b_M_-n_-l
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   22 Oct 20 07:25 lspci -> sos_commands/pci/lspci
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   29 Oct 20 07:25 mount -> sos_commands/filesys/mount_-l
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   38 Oct 20 07:25 netstat -> sos_commands/networking/netstat_-neopa
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4.0K Oct 19 16:16 opt
dr-xr-xr-x 10 root root 4.0K Jun 23  2017 proc
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   30 Oct 20 07:25 ps -> sos_commands/process/ps_auxwww
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   27 Oct 20 07:25 pstree -> sos_commands/process/pstree
dr-xr-x---  2 root root 4.0K Oct 17 12:09 root
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   32 Oct 20 07:25 route -> sos_commands/networking/route_-n
dr-xr-xr-x  2 root root 4.0K Sep 30 10:55 sbin
drwx------ 54 root root 4.0K Oct 20 07:21 sos_commands
drwx------  2 root root 4.0K Oct 20 07:21 sos_logs
drwx------  2 root root 4.0K Oct 20 07:21 sos_reports
dr-xr-xr-x  6 root root 4.0K Jun 23  2017 sys
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   28 Oct 20 07:25 uname -> sos_commands/kernel/uname_-a
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   27 Oct 20 07:25 uptime -> sos_commands/general/uptime
drwxr-xr-x  6 root root 4.0K Sep 25  2014 var
-rw-------  1 root root 1.7K Oct 20 07:21 version.txt
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   62 Oct 20 07:25 vgdisplay -> sos_commands/lvm2/vgdisplay_-vv_--config_global_locking_type_0

To double confirm what exactly sosreport captured, i’m gonna to see uname output file which was captured by sosreport.

# more uname_-a
Linux oracle.2daygeek.com 2.6.32-042stab127.2 #1 SMP Thu Jan 4 16:41:44 MSK 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Additional Options

Visit help page to view all available options for sosreport.

# sosreport --help
Usage: sosreport [options]

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -l, --list-plugins    list plugins and available plugin options
  -n NOPLUGINS, --skip-plugins=NOPLUGINS
                        disable these plugins
                        enable these plugins
  -o ONLYPLUGINS, --only-plugins=ONLYPLUGINS
                        enable these plugins only
  -k PLUGOPTS, --plugin-option=PLUGOPTS
                        plugin options in plugname.option=value format (see
  --log-size=LOG_SIZE   set a limit on the size of collected logs
  -a, --alloptions      enable all options for loaded plugins
  --all-logs            collect all available logs regardless of size
  --batch               batch mode - do not prompt interactively
  --build               preserve the temporary directory and do not package
  -v, --verbose         increase verbosity
  --verify              perform data verification during collection
  --quiet               only print fatal errors
  --debug               enable interactive debugging using the python debugger
                        specify ticket number
  --case-id=CASE_ID     specify case identifier
  -p PROFILES, --profile=PROFILES
                        enable plugins selected by the given profiles
  --name=CUSTOMER_NAME  specify report name
                        specify alternate configuration file
  --tmp-dir=TMP_DIR     specify alternate temporary directory
  --no-report           Disable HTML/XML reporting
                        compression technology to use [auto, gzip, bzip2, xz]

Some examples:

 enable cluster plugin only and collect dlm lockdumps:
   # sosreport -o cluster -k cluster.lockdump

 disable memory and samba plugins, turn off rpm -Va collection:
   # sosreport -n memory,samba -k rpm.rpmva=off

Magesh Maruthamuthu

Love to play with all Linux distribution

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