Practical Networking: Using the CONLOG Utility
Articles and Tips:
01 Oct 1997
Have you ever booted a server and watched as an error message appeared on the server console and quickly scrolled past, preventing you from reading the message? Of course, you want to fix the problem, but first you need to know what the problem is.
If you load the CONLOG utility, the server saves messages that appear on the server console in a console log file. You can then view this file and read all of the commands and messages that have appeared on the server console, including the following:
Novell Directory Services (NDS) messages
Commands that load or unload NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs)
Messages that announce RCONSOLE connections and disconnections
This month's Practical Networking column explains how to load and unload the CONLOG utility and how to use this utility's options.
LOADING AND UNLOADING THE CONLOG UTILITY
To load the CONLOG utility, enter the following command at the server console:
The server now records all of the console messages in the CONSOLE.LOG file, which is stored in the SYS:\ETC directory. The server continues to record these console messages until the CONSOLE.LOG file reaches the maximum size, which is, by default, 100 KB. When the CONSOLE.LOG file reaches the maximum size, the server deletes this file and creates a new one.
You can stop the server from saving console messages to the CONSOLE.LOG file by entering the following command at the server console:
LOADING THE CONLOG UTILITY WITH OPTIONS
You can also use options to customize how the CONLOG utility saves console messages. To view a list of these options, unload the CONLOG utility if it is loaded, and enter the following command at the server console:
LOAD CONLOG HELP
The CONLOG utility's help screen appears, displaying six additional options (not including the Help option). You can load the CONLOG utility using any combination of these options, which are described in the following sections.
Note: Note: The option for the CONLOG utility will not work if you include a space before or after the equals sign (=).
As mentioned earlier, the CONLOG utility saves console messages in the CONSOLE.LOG file, which is located in the SYS:\ETC directory. However, if you want to change the name of the console log file, you can use the File option. For example, if you wanted to save console messages in the CON.LOG file, you would enter the following command at the server console:
LOAD CONLOG FILE=CON.LOG
Although you can change the name of the console log file, you cannot change the directory in which this file is stored.
By default, when the CONLOG utility is loaded or when the console log file reaches its maximum size, the server deletes the existing console log file and creates a new file in its place. However, you can use the Save option to save the existing console log file with a different filename. For example, if you wanted to save the existing console log file as the CONSOLE.SAV file, you would enter the following command at the server console:
LOAD CONLOG SAVE=CONSOLE.SAV
After saving the console log file as the CONSOLE.SAV file, the server would begin saving new console messages in the new CONSOLE.LOG file (or in another file you specified with the File option).
If you unloaded the CONLOG utility and used the command above to reload the CONLOG utility, the server would save the existing console log file as the CONSOLE.SAV file, overwriting the file that you saved previously. For example, suppose that the CONLOG utility were not loaded, the SYS:\ETC directory contained the CONSOLE.LOG file and the CONSOLE.SAV file, and you entered the following command at the server console:
LOAD CONLOG SAVE=CONSOLE.SAV
The server would then perform the following tasks:
Delete the existing CONSOLE.SAV file
Save the existing CONSOLE.LOG file as the CONSOLE.SAV file
Create a new CONSOLE.LOG file
Then if the new CONSOLE.LOG file reached its maximum size, the server would save this file as the CONSOLE.SAV file, overwriting the existing CONSOLE.SAV file. The server would also create another CONSOLE.LOG file.
The Archive option was introduced in IntranetWare and NetWare 4.11. The Archive option allows you to archive 1,000 console log files on IntranetWare and NetWare 4.11 servers.
The first time you load the CONLOG utility with the Archive option, the server saves the existing console log file as the CONSOLE.000 file. Then each time you load the CONLOG utility with the Archive option or each time the console log file reaches its maximum size when you have specified the Archive option, the server increments the extension of the archive file by 1--CONSOLE.001, CONSOLE.002, and so on.
If you want to specify another name for the archive files, you can load the CONLOG utility with both the Archive and the Save options. The server will then use the filename you specify with the Save option and append the appropriate numerical extensions.
The Next option, which was also introduced in IntranetWare and NetWare 4.11, is intended to be used with the Save option or the Archive option. The Next option is intended to allow you to specify the time of day when the server archives the existing console log file and creates a new file. Unfortunately, the Next option does not work. However, Novell is aware of the problem and will be working on a solution.
By default, the server begins to save console messages to the console log fileafteryou load the CONLOG utility. If you use the Entire option, the server saves the messages currently displayed on the server console to the console log file.
By default, the server records console messages until the console log file reaches 100 KB. The CONLOG utility then saves or archives the current console log file (if you have used the Save or the Archive option) and creates a new file.
Using the Maximum option, you can change the maximum size for the console log file. The number you use with this option designates the maximum size in kilobytes. For example, if you wanted to change the maximum size to 512 KB, you would enter the following command at the server console:
LOAD CONLOG MAXIMUM=512
LOADING THE CONLOG UTILITY IN THE AUTOEXEC.NCF FILE
If you want to load the CONLOG utility each time you boot the server, you must add the LOAD CONLOG command to the server's AUTOEXEC.NCF file. To edit the AUTOEXEC.NCF file, you must complete the following steps:
Enter the following command at the server console:
The Installation Options menu appears.
Select NCF Files Options. The Available NCF Files Options menu appears.
Select the Edit AUTOEXEC.NCF File option. The File: AUTOEXEC.NCF window appears. This window displays the AUTOEXEC.NCF file.
Locate an appropriate place in the AUTOEXEC.NCF file, and enter the LOAD CONLOG command with any options. (For help in deciding where to place the LOAD CONLOG command, see the explanation below.)
Press the F10 key, and then select Yes when you are prompted to save the changes you made to the AUTOEXEC.NCF file.
Press the Escape key twice, and select Yes when prompted to unload the INSTALL utility.
Where you place the LOAD CONLOG command in the AUTOEXEC.NCF file determines which console messages the server saves in the console log file. For example, if you placed the LOAD CONLOG command below the commands that load and bind the server's network interface boards, the console log file would not contain information about these boards.
To record as many console messages as possible, place the LOAD CONLOG command near the beginning of the AUTOEXEC.NCF file (probably directly after the FILE SERVER NAME command). You can also use the Entire option to capture the messages displayed on the server console when the CONLOG utility is loaded. If you want to record only the server startup messages, you can place the UNLOAD CONLOG command at the end of the AUTOEXEC.NCF file.
VIEWING THE CONSOLE LOG FILE
You can use any word-processing application or text editor to view the console log file from your workstation. In fact, any user with the Read right to the SYS:\ETC directory can view the console log files in this way.
To view the console log file from the server console, you can use the INETCFG utility or the EDIT utility. However, you should not view the console log file with the EDIT utility while the INETCFG utility is loaded because the server might abend.
The tips outlined in this article should help you use the CONLOG utility. Now when you are troubleshooting a server, you can view its console messages for useful information.
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Angela Diefenbach works for Niche Associates.
NetWare Connection, October 1997, pp.44-45
* Originally published in Novell Connection Magazine
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.