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sos - Man Page

A unified tool for collecting system logs and other debug information


sos component [options]


sos is a diagnostic data collection utility, used by system administrators, support representatives, and the like to assist in troubleshooting issues with a system or group of systems.

The most well known function is sos report or sosreport as it was previously known.

An sos archive is typically requested by support organizations to collect baseline configuration and system data from which to begin the troubleshooting process.


sos supports several subcommands or components. Each provides a different set of information for the user. Supported components are as follows


Report generates an archive of system information including configuration files and command output. Information included in the report is based upon plugins that are activated automatically when certain criteria, such as installed packages, files, services, or system architecture is detected.

See sos report --help and man sos-report for more information.

May also be invoked via the alias rep or the deprecated command sosreport.


Collect is used to capture reports on multiple systems simultaneously. These systems can either be defined by the user at the command line and/or defined by clustering software that exists either on the local system or on a "primary" system that is able to inform about other nodes in the cluster.

When running collect, sos report will be run on the remote nodes, and then the resulting archives will be copied from those nodes to the local system running sos collect. Archives are then removed from the remote systems.

See sos collect --help and man sos-collect for more information.

May also be invoked via the alias sos collector or the deprecated command sos-collector.


This subcommand takes input of either 1) an sosreport tarball, 2) a collection of sosreport tarballs such as from collect, or 3) the unpackaged directory of an sosreport and obfuscates potentially sensitive system information that is not covered by the standard postprocessing of sos report.

Such data includes IP addresses, networks, MAC addresses, and more. Data obfuscated by this command will remain consistent throughout the report and across reports provided in the same invocation. Additionally, care is taken to maintain network topology relationships between matched data items.

See sos clean --help and man sos-clean for more information.

May be invoked via either sos clean, sos cleaner, sos mask, or via the --clean, --cleaner or --mask options for report and collect.


This subcommand is used to retrieve more detailed information on the various SoS commands and components than is directly available in either other manpages or --help output.

See sos help --help and man sos-help for more information.

Global Options

sos components provide their own set of options, however the following are available to be set across all components.

Do not prompt interactively, user will not be prompted for any data

Encrypt the resulting archive, and determine the method by which that encryption is done by either a user prompt or environment variables.

When run with --batch, using this option will cause sos to look for either the SOSENCRYPTKEY or SOSENCRYPTPASS environment variables. If set, this will implicitly enable the --encrypt-key or --encrypt-pass options, respectively, to the values set by the environment variable. This enables the use of these options without directly setting those options in a config file or command line string. Note that use of an encryption key has precedence over a passphrase.

Otherwise, using this option will cause sos to prompt the user to choose the method of encryption to use. Choices will be [P]assphrase, [K]ey, [E]nv vars, or [N]o encryption. If passphrase or key the user will then be prompted for the respective value, env vars will cause sos to source the information in the manner stated above, and choosing no encryption will disable encryption.

See the sections on --encrypt-key and --encrypt-pass below for more information.

--encrypt-key KEY

Encrypts the resulting archive that sosreport produces using GPG. KEY must be an existing key in the user's keyring as GPG does not allow for keyfiles. KEY can be any value accepted by gpg's 'recipient' option.

Note that the user running sosreport must match the user owning the keyring from which keys will be obtained. In particular this means that if sudo is used to run sosreport, the keyring must also be set up using sudo (or direct shell access to the account).

Users should be aware that encrypting the final archive will result in sos using double the amount of temporary disk space - the encrypted archive must be written as a separate, rather than replacement, file within the temp directory that sos writes the archive to. However, since the encrypted archive will be the same size as the original archive, there is no additional space consumption once the temporary directory is removed at the end of execution.

This means that only the encrypted archive is present on disk after sos finishes running.

If encryption fails for any reason, the original unencrypted archive is preserved instead.

--encrypt-pass PASS

The same as --encrypt-key, but use the provided PASS for symmetric encryption rather than key-pair encryption.

--config-file CONFIG

Specify alternate configuration file.

-s,  --sysroot SYSROOT

Specify an alternate root file system path.

--tmp-dir DIRECTORY

Specify alternate temporary directory to copy data during execution.

--threads THREADS

Specify the number of threads sosreport will use for concurrency. Defaults to 4.

-v,  --verbose

Increase logging verbosity. May be specified multiple times to enable additional debugging messages.

The following table summarizes the effects of different verbosity levels:

   1 (-v)   :  Enable debug messages for sos.log. Show individual plugins starting.
   2 (-vv)  :  Also print debug messages to console.
   3 (-vvv) :  Enable debug messages for archive file operations. Note this will dramatically
               increase the amount of logging.

-q,  --quiet

Only log fatal errors to stderr.

-z,  --compression-type {auto|xz|gzip}

Compression type to use when compression the final archive output


Display usage message.

See Also



Maintained on GitHub at https://github.com/sosreport/sos

Authors & Contributors

See AUTHORS file in the package documentation.

Referenced By

sos-clean(1), sos-collect(1), sosreport(1).

April 2020