OpenSUSE Linux Rants

OpenSUSE Linux Tips, tricks, how-tos, opinions, and news

My Resume  -  My LinkedIn Profile

September 18, 2007

Reason 54,872 to use Linux : Log Detail

by @ 7:03 am. Filed under General Linux, My Opinion, War

Let’s face it, Linux is better than Windows.

Actually, rather than open that can of worms, I would like to supply just one of the tons of reasons that I believe many system administrators would prefer Linux.

When you are trying to troubleshoot a problem, information about that problem is invaluable. Take, for example, the logging capabilities of the proprietary alternative.

I was called in (I still marvel over why) to work one day to figure out what happened to our Exchange server. What on earth possesses anyone to think I know or care anything about that… ? Anyway, they called me in, and I went. First thing I did when I got there was to go hunting for the system log. The extent of the information I found can be summarized in this screenshot:

Hmm… “The previous system shutdown at 4:49:45 AM on 8/11/2007 was unexpected.” Congratulations, thank you for that insightful bit of noteworthy and informative enlightenment. I had no idea that the shutdown was unexpected, even though that is PRECISELY why I am sitting in front of the computer to begin with.

In other words, the “Event Log” on Win32 platforms is technically correct, but absolutely useless.

In Linux, I can go to any one or more of several different logs, and I can even create my own should I so choose. We have /var/log/messages as the main system log. There are also others, like the mail log, the apache log, the php log, and the database log. Should I write a script that has custom output messages, I can send them to any other output file I wish by using the “>” symbol and redirecting the output to that file.

Without helpful and informative logs, I would likely not have been able to solve issues such as this that cropped up last September.

Helpful, detailed, descriptive, informative debugging and error logs: yet another reason to use Linux.

Heh, did you hear about how Vista was attacked by a 13-year-old virus?!

That would have to qualify as another spectacular reason to choose Linux over proprietary systems. You’re less likely to get viruses.

2 Responses to “Reason 54,872 to use Linux : Log Detail”

  1. Hayden Richmond Says:

    “In other words, the “Event Logâ€? on Win32 platforms is technically correct, but absolutely useless.

    In Linux, I can go to any one or more of several different logs, and I can even create my own should I so choose. We have /var/log/messages as the main system log. There are also others, like the mail log, the apache log, the php log, and the database log. Should I write a script that has custom output messages, I can send them to any other output file I wish by using the “>� symbol and redirecting the output to that file.£

    Can i just say i have a problem with Suse10.1 where it randomly freezes. Nothing can recover it apart from turning the PC completely offf and then back on again. Upon checking the logs there is absolutley nothing recorded about this event!! Don’t assume Linux is perfect either!

    Cheers

  2. Scott Morris Says:

    Hayden,
    Yes, I realize that it is not perfect. It is, however, by design, more helpful to troubleshooting in the ways I describe. Sorry that you are having trouble. For most instances, though, I think that the logs in Linux will have a higher probability of being helpful than those in M$ OSes. Thanks for stopping by!

OpenSUSE Linux Rants
Official OpenSUSE Linux Site

internal links:

categories:

SUSE Resources

search blog:

archives:

March 2022
S M T W T F S
« Feb    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

63 queries. 0.530 seconds