Troubleshooting System Administration Issues in Oracle® Solaris 11.2

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Updated: September 2014

Viewing System Messages

System messages display on the console device. The text of most system messages look like this:

[ID msgid facility.]

For example:

[ID 672855 kern.notice] syncing file systems...

If the message originated in the kernel, the kernel module name is displayed. For example:

Oct 1 14:07:24 mars ufs: [ID 845546 kern.notice] alloc: /: file system full 

When a system crashes, it might display a message on the system console like this:

panic: error message

Less frequently, this message might be displayed instead of the panic message:

Watchdog reset !

The error logging daemon, syslogd, automatically records various system warnings and errors in message files. By default, many of these system messages are displayed on the system console and are stored in the /var/adm directory. You can direct where these messages are stored by setting up system message logging. For more information, see Customizing System Message Logging. These messages can alert you to system problems, such as a device that is about to fail.

The /var/adm directory contains several message files. The most recent messages are in /var/adm/messages file (and in messages.*), and the oldest are in the messages.3 file. After a period of time (usually every ten days), a new messages file is created. The messages.0 file is renamed messages.1, messages.1 is renamed messages.2, and messages.2 is renamed messages.3. The current /var/adm/messages.3 file is deleted.

Because the /var/adm directory stores large files containing messages, crash dumps, and other data, this directory can consume lots of disk space. To keep the /var/adm directory from growing too large, and to ensure that future crash dumps can be saved, you should remove unneeded files periodically. You can automate this task by using the crontab file. For more information about automating this task, see Removing Dump Files in Managing Devices in Oracle Solaris 11.2 and Chapter 4, Scheduling System Tasks, in Managing System Information, Processes, and Performance in Oracle Solaris 11.2 .

How to View System Messages

  • Display recent messages generated by a system crash or reboot by using the dmesg command.
    $ dmesg

    Or, use the more command to display one screen of messages at a time.

    $ more /var/adm/messages
Example 5-1  Viewing System Messages

The following example shows output from the dmesg command on an Oracle Solaris 10 system.

$ dmesg
Mon Sep 13 14:33:04 MDT 2010
Sep 13 11:06:16 sr1-ubrm-41 svc.startd[7]: [ID 122153 daemon.warning] ...
Sep 13 11:12:55 sr1-ubrm-41 last message repeated 398 times
Sep 13 11:12:56 sr1-ubrm-41 svc.startd[7]: [ID 122153 daemon.warning] ...
Sep 13 11:15:16 sr1-ubrm-41 last message repeated 139 times
Sep 13 11:15:16 sr1-ubrm-41 xscreensaver[25520]:  ,,,
Sep 13 11:15:16 sr1-ubrm-41 xscreensaver[25520]: ...
Sep 13 11:15:17 sr1-ubrm-41 svc.startd[7]: [ID 122153 daemon.warning]...

See also

For more information, see the dmesg (1M) man page.