Question: How can I get my Linux server rebooted/restarted automatically if it caught a kernel panic?

Answer: As you might know, kernel panic is an action taken by an operating system upon detecting an internal fatal error from which it cannot safely recover; the term is largely specific to Unix and Unix-like systems (it’s a wiki’s description).

By default Linux wouldn’t not reboot after panic occurs, but the following option of sysctl will cause a kernel to reboot after N seconds you specify. In our example server will be rebooted in 15 seconds if kernel panic stopped its operation:

1. Open sysctl’s configuration file:
sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

2. Add there the following line:
kernel.panic = 15


1. Execute the following command:
/sbin/sysctl -w kernel.panic=15

Hope it helps!

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  1. June 23, 2008  3:27 pm by pinoyskull Reply

    Very nice tip, this is very useful to admins who administer linux boxes remotely.

  2. Pingback : Cómo reiniciar automáticamente tras un Kernel Panic en Linux »

  3. October 3, 2008  3:03 pm by Son Nguyen Reply

    Great tip, I didn't even know it's possible.

  4. October 3, 2008  8:01 pm by lemon Reply

    This tip is very useful if you compile a new kernel remotely, and you want a safe net if something goes wrong; but you must pay attention to not load the same kernel when you startup (so new kernel not on default in lilo/grub ) :)

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  12. March 11, 2013  3:33 am by christine judd Reply

    hi I am a newbie using linux can u tell me how to exactly add the line kernel.panic=15 into /etc/sysctl.conf . when I opened /etc/sysctl.conf the cursor points to #. How to add it and using sysctl_p to save it. thank you very much.

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