Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3 Administration Guide

25.1.2 Types of Messaging Server Log Files

Messaging Server logging consists of three types of log files:

  1. MTA logs. These logs provide operational data previously described for the Message Transfer Agent.

  2. Error logs. These are the MTA debug logs, and the MTA subcomponent logs (that is, job controller, dispatcher and so on).

  3. Message Store and Service logs. These logs provide messages from the http server, mshttpd, imap, and pop services, as well as the Admin service. The format of these logs differs from that of the first two types of logs.

The following table lists the different types of log files. By default, log files are located in the msg-svr-base/data/log directory. You can customize and view each type of log file individually.

Table 25–1 Messaging Server Log Files

Type of Log File 

Log File description  

Default Name 

Message Transfer Agent 

Show information about message traffic through the MTA including date and time information, enqueue and dequeue information, and so on. 

mail.log, mail.log_current, mail.log_yesterday 


Contains remote machines (MTAs) that connect to this system to send email. 



Contains message trends in terms of messages sent and received on a per channel basis. 


Job Controller 

Contains data on the master, job controller, sender, and dequeue channel programs. 



Contains errors pertaining to the dispatcher. Turning on dispatcher debugging will increase the information. 



Records errors pertaining to the channel. Keywords master_debug and slave_debug turns on channel debugging, which increases the verbosity of the channel log files. Level and type of information is controlled with the various *_DEBUG MTA options in option.dat. 

channelname_master.log* (example: tcp_local_master.log*)

channelname_slave.log* (example, tcp_local_slave.log*)


Contains logged events related to IMAP4 activity of this server 

imap, imap.sequenceNum.timeStamp


Contains logged events related to POP3 activity of this server 

pop, pop.sequenceNum.timeStamp


Contains logged events related to HTTP activity of this server 

http, http.sequenceNum.timeStamp


Contains logged events related to other activity of this server, such as command-line utilities and other processes 

default, default.sequenceNum.timeStamp


Contains trace information for the Message Store. File can grow very large very quickly. Monitor accordingly. 



monitor process failures and unresponsive services (see Table 4–4) and will log error messages indicating specific failures.



sequenceNum - specifies an integer that specifies the order of creation of this log file compared to others in the log-file directory. Log files with higher sequence numbers are more recent than those with lower numbers. Sequence numbers do not roll over; they increase monotonically for the life of the server (beginning at server installation).

timeStamp - Specifies a large integer that specifies the date and time of file creation. (Its value is expressed in standard UNIX time: the number of seconds since midnight January 1, 1970.)

For example, a log file named imap.63.915107696 would be the 63rd log file created in the directory of IMAP log files, created at 12:34:56 PM on December 31, 1998.

The combination of open-ended sequence numbering with a timestamp gives you more flexibility in rotating, expiring, and selecting files for analyzing. For more specific suggestions, see 25.4.3 Defining and Setting Service Logging Options