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I am working with a developer of NAS4Free (FreeBSD based), and to help diagnose issues, I'm trying to capture the console output generated while booting.

After much searching, I can't find any hints of how to do this. I found that when toggled into scroll mode with Scroll Lock, I can scroll back up, but what I really want to do is take the whole buffer and dump it to a file that I could then post to Pastebin or similar, so he can go through it and find the possibly problematic areas.

Background: NAS4Free is running "embedded" on bare metal, so reconfiguring it to dump boot messages to somewhere else isn't possible.

dmesg has been used, but doesn't list all the specific entries printed during the boot sequence.

sysctl -a has been recommended, and while some of the output is helpful, it still doesn't include all the boot messages.

/var/log/messages does not exist, which could mean the logger isn't started (likely to reduce rewrites to the boot media)


Basically, I just want a way to just grab the contents of the console's buffer and dump it to a text file on disk, instead of having to manually type out everything that might be of interest.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

After much discussion with the NAS4Free developers, it appears that the information I'm looking for is included in the log /var/log/system.log.

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Look at /var/log/messages.

If you need to extract more info, read the man page of logger. With logger you can use syslog to save the output of the programs.

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$ cat /var/log/messages cat: /var/log/messages: No such file or directory Looks like it isn't logging all the messages that display during boot. – killermist Jun 10 '12 at 2:03
Probably your system is not saving the logs or the location of the logs is different to the traditional place. Read… . – Rufo El Magufo Jun 10 '12 at 2:15
I'll try to get in contact with an active developer of NAS4Free and see if that is the case. On the other hand, I know the text is in a buffer somewhere, because on the physically attached console, I can scroll back to the beginning of boot, I just don't know how to access that buffer. – killermist Jun 10 '12 at 3:10
@killermist don't edit my post for add the solution. Just add other answer and accept your answer :) – Rufo El Magufo Jun 10 '12 at 17:40
Thanks. Will do. – killermist Jun 10 '12 at 17:49

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