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Notes: Poor adaptation of [1] (Discuss in Talk:Netconsole#)

netconsole is a kernel module that sends all kernel log messages (i.e. dmesg) over the network to another computer, without involving user space (e.g. syslogd). Name "netconsole" is a misnomer because it's not really a "console", more like a remote logging service.

It can be used either built-in or as a module. Built-in netconsole initializes immediately after NIC cards and will bring up the specified interface as soon as possible. The module is mainly used for capturing kernel panic output from a headless machine, or in other situations where the user space is no more functional.

Documentation is available in the Linux kernel tree under Documentation/networking/netconsole.txt.

Sender configuration

Built-in Configuration

Netconsole can be configured via the netconsole kernel parameter in the following format:


where the fields have the following meaning:

  • src-port — source for UDP packets (defaults to 6665)
  • src-ip — source IP to use (interface address)
  • dev — network interface (eth0)
  • tgt-port — port for logging agent (6666)
  • tgt-ip — IP address for logging agent
  • tgt-macaddr — ethernet MAC address for logging agent (broadcast)

For example:

Note: MAC address is optional, but the slash must stay: ...,6666@

The logging level can be set with the loglevel kernel parameter, e.g.:


Runtime configuration

Netconsole can be loaded as kernel module manually after boot or automatically during boot depending on the module configuration (see Kernel modules for details).

To load the netconsole module manually any time after boot:

# set log level for kernel messages
dmesg -n 8

modprobe configfs
modprobe netconsole
mount none -t configfs /sys/kernel/config

# 'netconsole' dir is auto created if the module is loaded 
mkdir /sys/kernel/config/netconsole/target1
cd /sys/kernel/config/netconsole/target1

# set local IP address
echo > local_ip
# set destination IP address
echo > remote_ip
# set local network device name (find it trough ifconfig, examples: eth0, eno1, wlan0)
echo eno1 > dev_name
# find destination MAC address
arping $(cat remote_ip) -f | grep -o ..:..:..:..:..:.. > remote_mac

echo 1 > enabled

Netconsole should now be configured. To verify, run dmesg | tail and you should see "netconsole: network logging started". Check available log levels by running dmesg -h.

Receiver configuration

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: please use the first argument of the template to provide a brief explanation. (Discuss in Talk:Netconsole#)

Install gnu-netcat or socat from the official repositories.

nc -u -l 6666


nc -u -l -p 6666

Logging is done by your Arch Linux set logger like syslog-ng, so available loglevels (output details) are defined in that logger docs, and may differ for each log type. One can also pass netconsole string parameters at kernel runtime (no config file required), then start two netconsole instances on the monitoring PC (one to read output, another for input), and restart it on the PC or device you are logging as shown in Dynamic Configuration:

# set log level for kernel messages
dmesg -n 8

Note: MAC address is optional.
nc -l -u -p 6666 &
nc -u 6666

# socat as alternative to nc in one command
socat - udp4-datagram:,bind=6666

One may need to switch off PC and router firewall, and setup proper router port forwarding to monitor and input data in Netconsole. A more flexible configuration can be achieved if netconsole is setup on a different subnet so that if the device is moved to a different network IP's won't clash, however it may require a more complex setup on the receiver with aliased ethernet interface.


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Reason: Moved from Boot debugging (Discuss in Talk:Netconsole#)
netconsole is a kernel module which sends kernel logs over the network, which is useful for debugging slower computers. The setup process is:
  1. Set up another computer (running Arch) to accept syslog requests on a remote port using syslog.conf
  2. View the logs using your /var/log/everything.log file
  3. On the computer you are debugging, add a kernel paramter like netconsole=514@ (along with whatever debugging parameters you want)
  4. Restart the computer and view the logs

See also