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Console Help Commands in NetWare 5.1: Display Processors, Display Environment, Display Modified Environment, and Down

Articles and Tips: article

Mark McKell
Technical Editor
DeveloperNet University

01 Oct 2000

This section is one in a series that intends to describe each of the NetWare 5.1 console commands (both normal and hidden) in alphabetical order and to tell when, why, and how to properly use them.

Show Me Processors

In today's multitasking operating environment, servers often require numberous and beefy processors to handle all the requests for its resources. Then if one processor drops offline, requests for resources may be delayed, but services can continue. To track the status of a server's processors, you can use the DISPLAY PROCESSORS command at the server console.

DISPLAY PROCESSORS lists the online or offline status of processors available to the NetWare operating system. The syntax allows you to list all, one, or multiple processors. For example, DISPLAY PROCESSORS <Enter> without any parameters displays all processors. To display the status of a particular processor by number, include its number with the command, such as DISPLAY PROCESSORS 3 <Enter>. To display the status of additional processors, separate the processor numbers by spaces. So, DISPLAY PROCESSORS 3 4 5 <Enter> displays the status of processors 3, 4, and 5.

At the server console, the output of the processors' status is color-coded. If a process is online, its status is displayed in green, while a processor that is offline is displayed in red.

Display Environment

NetWare 5.1 has literally hundreds of settable server parameters. We have already explored the CSET command and assume that you are familiar with making set parameter modifications, at least in terms of set categories. And if you are curious about seeing how all of NetWare's server parameters are currently set, is there a command that will list them all for you? The answer is yes.

The DISPLAY ENVIRONMENT command allows you to view all of the settable server parameters along with their default values and range of valid values. It can also be used to display the current search paths, as seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Information displayed by the DISPLAY ENVIRONMENT command. The server console displays the parameter name in white and its current value in yellow

Note: NetWare 5.1 has many settable server parameters that are hidden by default. DISPLAY ENVIRONMENT displays only settable server parameters that are not marked as hidden. (For more information about NetWare 5.1's hidden parameters and commands, see "Beyond the Basics: Configuring the NetWare Management Portal Utility in NetWare 5.1" in the March 2000 issue of Novell AppNotes.)

The syntax for the command is simply DISPLAY ENVIRONMENT <Enter> without any other parameters. Note that the command lists the Communications Parameters first, just as SET and MONITOR do.

When I use the DISPLAY ENVIRONMENT command, the server presents me with ten screen-fulls of settable parameters. If you want a complete list in a more tangible form than a series of server console screens, you can print the settable parameters to a file, by completing the following steps:

  1. At the server console prompt, type MONITOR <Enter> to launch the MONITOR utility.

  2. From the Available Options menu, select Server Parameters.

  3. Press <F3> to write the current parameter values to sys:\system\setcmds.cp, the default file for recording the value of settable parameters.

  4. From a workstation, you can then open the file with a text editor and print it.

Display Modified Environment

Now that you know how to display all settable server parameters, remembering which ones you may have modified in the course of maintaining and updating your server is likely difficult, if not impossible. Novell has simplified this with the DISPLAY MODIFIED ENVIRONMENT command. DISPLAY MODIFIED ENVIRONMENT displays the set parameters that you have modified from the default values and shows both the current value and the default value, as seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Information displayed by the DISPLAY MODIFIED ENVIRONMENT command. The server console displays the parameter name in white, its current value in yellow, and its default setting in off-yellow or gray


Graceful Down

My first attempt at diving off a high dive resulted in a spread-eagle flop that left my eyeballs swimming out of their sockets and my legs and chest a stinging red. I learned that day that there is a difference between a graceful dive and a painful one. It wasn't until after a diving instructor taught me the proper body control techniques that I attempted another high dive.

In network operating systems, you can also bring a server down gracefully or perhaps painfully. A graceful down ensures that all files (or body parts) are properly saved or unloaded (or tucked away) before powering off (or landing) and that upon rebooting (or emerging from the depths), the operating system can restart as intended (or resume physical activity without any damage). An ungraceful down will most likely lead to a painful experience where files become vulnerable to loss or corruption (reddening of flesh by force of impact) and possible permanent damage to the operating system when restarted. To avoid such consequences, use the resources available such as the DOWN command (or a diving instructor) to safely shut down NetWare.

The DOWN command in NetWare ensures system and data integrity before turning off file server power. The syntax is DOWN.

The DOWN command ensures data integrity by writing cache buffers to disk, closing files, and updating Directory Entry Tables and File Allocation Tables. If you turn off power without using DOWN first, changes held in cache buffers will be lost.

The DOWN command also executes a SHUTDOWN.NCF file, if one is present. For example, although most modules (including those in protected address spaces) unload automatically when you DOWN or RESTART the server, some modules might require that you unload them individually first. You can unload them manually at the server prompt. Or you can simply place the UNLOAD commands in a SHUTDOWN.NCF file. (Run the MODULES command to determine address spaces for specific modules.)

Console Command


Allows you to track the status of a server's processors.



Allows you to view all of the settable server parameters along with their default values and range of valid values, and the current server search paths.



Allows you to view the set parameters that you have modified from the default values, displaying both the current value and the default value.



Allows you to ensure system and data integrity before turning off file server power.


* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

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