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My (VPS) server stopped answering the ping and was completely unavailable (ssh, http, etc) so I had to restart it.

I'd like to find the reason why, but I don't have any clues where to look to find the reason (if any...).

How would you do?

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In general: unless you set up proper logging and monitoring beforehand it might be (nigh) impossible to determine a root cause and even then you can only recognize issues within the VPS.

Second: before forcing a hard reboot take a look at the console, the typical linux system will still write critical failure messages to the console even when it can’t log them to disk

Third: most linux systems generate log files under /var/log The names differ somewhat between different distributions but look for kernel message in syslog kernel and or messages files and the numerous application specific logs

Fourth: there may have been some issues external to your VPS; hardware failure, or issues caused by one/some/too many neighbor VPS’s , the hosting provider may have been doing maintenance, live migration etc. Contact your provider

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  • Thank you. I forgot to mention that I was on Debian but this forced you to provide a generic answer, which might help others in the future :) I've saved the files a requested and I will reach out to the hosting provider with these. – Cyril N. Nov 17 '19 at 18:03

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