Boot Up Messages
When your SCO machine boots, there are numerous messages output
to the screen. Most of these messages come from drivers announcing
their hardware configuration (address, interrupt, etc.). You also
get information about memory found, and how much of it has been
allocated for I/O buffers. These messages are not just displayed to
the screen, however: they are also stored in a file.
The messages will be found in /usr/adm/messages. Unless
something or somebody has been cleaning this out now and then, you
will find that this file has messages starting back when the
machine was booted for the very first time. If you've been running
for a few years, and re-booting daily, the file could be of an
impressive size by now, and you might want to truncate it (">
/usr/adm/messages" will do it) or edit it down to a more reasonable
size ("tail -200 /usr/adm/messages > /tmp/ saveme; cp
/tmp/saveme /usr/adm/messages" might be useful).
See Freeing disk space with ">" for why you should use ">".
There are a couple of things you may want to consider before
doing that, however. The startup messages are useful in that they
show what drivers were present over time and what the supposed
hardware configurations were. You can sometimes get an idea of what
troubles the installer had by looking at the earliest messages in
the file, and if you are changing hardware now, this file can tell
you how your working hardware was addressed.
But beyond that, /usr/adm/messages also contains messages from
your system, and some of them could be important. As a start toward
determining that, I like to do :
egrep "CONFIG|NOTICE|WARN" /usr/adm/messages | sort -u
to see what has been. You may get some messages that indicate
conditions that have long since been corrected (you'll need to go
into the file to see WHEN these occurred), or that are unimportant
(tape left out, no floppy in drive), but you may also find things
that you were previously unaware of and should know about. In those
cases, you might want to copy off the file for more extensive
Booting also includes messages from the rc scripts. Every script
that runs in rc2.d generates output to a log of the same name in
/etc/rc2.d/messages. The same is true for rc0.d, which writes to
/etc/rc0.d/messages on shutdown.
The "prc_sync" command also logs to this directory; examining
that can identify and scripts that did not complete (and generated
the "/etc/rc2: xyz Alarm Call" messages). By the way, a common
reason for that is setting a default route that is not yet up and
And, of course, there is /var/adm/syslog, which gets the output
from many of the daemons that get started by rc2.d scripts, and
finally there are small logs in var.adm for rc0, rc1, rc2 and pmd
(the power management daemon).
If you are just after the driver initialization messages,
"hwconfig" will show those.
© 1998 Anthony Lawrence. All rights reserved.
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