How to retrieve a copy of /var/log/messages from a Platinum system.

Overview

The file /var/log/messages contains important diagnostic information about your Platinum system. Technical support staff may occasionally request that you send them a copy of this file to assist in diagnosing problems with your system. This document describes a number of ways in which you can do this. All of these methods involve first copying the file to a PC, from where it can be sent via e-mail.

There are two main methods by which the file can be copied from the Platinum system to a PC.

  • Over a network. This is the recommended method. If your network is configured and running correctly, scroll down to Using a network to continue.
  • Over a serial port. This is slower than using a network but may be the only method available if you do not have network hardware to hand or if the system’s networking is malfunctioning. If you need to use the serial port, scroll down to Using a serial connection.

Using a network

The precise details vary depending on whether you are using a Linux PC or a Windows PC. Linux users should continue reading. Windows users should click here to continue.

Linux instructions

The simplest way to retrieve a copy of /var/log/messages to a Linux PC is by using the scp command. Open a terminal window on your Linux PC and run the command:

scp root@192.168.0.1:/var/log/messages .

replacing 192.168.0.1 with the IP address or DNS name of your Platinum system. You may be asked for a password: respond with the normal root password for your Platinum system. The messages file will be copied to your current working directory, from where you can email it to GSL support staff.

Windows instructions

Windows users should install one of two free software packages, PuTTY or WinSCP, to provide the required network copy functionality. PuTTY provides the PSFTP program, which has a command-line interface, whereas WinSCP has a graphical “drag-and-drop” interface, similar to Norton Commander.

Using PuTTY’s PSFTP program

PuTTY can be downloaded from http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html. Select the full installation in order to include the PSFTP program. Once installed, select “All Programs”, “PuTTY”, “PSFTP” from the Windows start menu. A window opens with a command prompt. Enter the following command:

open 192.168.0.1

replacing 192.168.0.1 with the IP address or DNS name of your Platinum system. Reply “y” to the question about host keys, then enter root and rootme at the login: and password: prompts. Once logged in, issue the following commands:

cd /var/log
get messages
lpwd
quit

The lpwd command prints the name of the folder on your PC into which the messages file has been saved. From here, you can use your normal email tools to send it to GSL support staff.

Using WinSCP

WinSCP can be downloaded from http://winscp.net/eng/download.php. Once installed, select “All Programs”, “WinSCP”, “WinSCP” from the Windows start menu. A login screen appears: fill in the IP address or DNS name of your Platinum system in the “Host name” field and enter root and rootme in the “User name” and “Password” field. Click “Login” to continue and click “Yes” to continue if you receive a security alert mentioning the server’s host key.

WinSCP Screenshot

A split window appears: the left hand side shows files and folders on your local PC and the right hand side shows files and directories on the Platinum system. Type the control key+ the O key and enter /var/log to open the required directory. If the files are not visible, type the control key+ the alt key+ the T key to open the file viewer. Select an appropriate destination folder in the left hand pane and then drag the messages file into it. You can then use your normal email tools to send the file to GSL support staff.

Using a serial connection

The precise details vary depending on whether you are using a Linux PC or a Windows PC. Linux users should continue reading. Windows users should click here to continue.

Linux instructions

These instructions apply to users of the minicom terminal emulator. Similar techniques apply to other terminal emulators: check the documentation for your favourite emulator if it is not minicom.
Start minicom and set the communications parameters so that you can log in to your Platinum system in the normal fashion. Change your current working directory to /var/log with the command

cd /var/log

Start a zModem transfer of the messages file with the command

sz messages

Tell minicom to receive a file by keying the control key+ the A key then the R key. Select “zModem” from the drop-down menu: the messages file will be transferred into the working directory on your Linux PC.
Terminate your command-line session by typing the control key+ the D key then exit minicom by typing the control key+ the A key then the Q key. You can then use your normal email tools to send the transferred file to GSL support staff.

Windows instructions

Most Windows PCs have HyperTerminal installed. If yours does not, you can install a 30-day trial version from http://www.hilgraeve.com/hyperterminal-trial or use one of a large number of free terminal emulators with zModem support, such as SecureCRT (http://download.cnet.com/SecureCRT/3000-7240_4-10019454.html). These instructions will assume that you are using HyperTerminal but the techniques involved will be very similar with any other emulator. Start HyperTerminal and enter any suitable name for the connection when prompted:
HyperTerminal connection description window

You will then be prompted for connection details. The “Country/Region”, “Area code” and “Phone number” fields can be ignored – they are only required when working with modem connections. Select the correct COM port and click OK:
HyperTerminal connection details window

Enter the correct line speed on the following screen – The example below shows 9600 but you should enter the speed at which the serial port of your EAM is running. The other settings in this dialogue should be:

  • Data bits: 8
  • Parity: none
  • Stop bits: 1
  • Flow control: none

HyperTerminal COMM port properties window

Click “OK” to initiate the connection and log in as normal. Change your current working directory to /var/log with the command

cd /var/log

Start a zModem transfer of the messages file with the command

sz messages

Tell HyperTerminal to receive a file by selecting “Receive File…” from the “Transfer” menu. Enter an appropriate destination folder in the resulting dialogue and set the transfer method to “Zmodem with crash recovery”.
HyperTerminal receive file window

The messages file will be transferred into the folder you have specified. Terminate your command-line session by typing the control key+ the D key then exit HyperTerminal by clicking the close button. You can then use your normal email tools to send the file to GSL support staff.

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