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Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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Responding to a Panic

If you get a panic, the first thing to do is get a copy of the panic message. Since FreeBSD is no longer running, the standard methods for copying data from your machine won't work—you cannot SSH in, and script(1) is no longer viable. The console might even be completely locked up and unresponsive instead of being in the debugger. In any event, you must have that error message.

FreeBSD didn't always automatically reboot after a panic; originally it just sat there displaying the panic message. The first time I saw a panic, I scrambled for paper and pen. Eventually I found an old envelope and a broken stub of pencil that made marks if you held it at just the right angle, and crawled between the server rack and the rough brick ...

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