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Boot Up Messages

© December 1998 Tony Lawrence

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 examination.

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 running.

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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