System Log, SYSLOG
Part Three - Challenge #03


What is in the z/OS System Log, SYSLOG?

The z/OS System Log, SYSLOG, is a chronological listing of messages from the operating system and applications using operating system services.

Informational, warning, and error messages are written to the SYSLOG. The SYSLOG is frequently the first place experienced technicians look when system problems or abnormal behavior is reported. Data center automation and real time visual dashboards rely upon information from the SYSLOG. An example would be to automate command input at various intervals to check on the status of various system resources where the command response updates a visual dashboard.

SYSLOG also includes:

  • System command input and command responses
  • Start and stop of Batch jobs
  • Start and stop of TSO sessions
  • Start and stop of Started Tasks
  • Security messages and warnings
  • Resource exhaustion messages
  • Device messages (disk, network, removable media, printers, etc.)
  • Outstanding messages requiring an action/decision reply from an automated process or operator

SYSLOG basics and challenge preparation actions

SYSLOG records are 131 characters in length.

TN3270 display size is 80 characters in length by default.


ISPF and TN3270 settings allow for greater than 80 characters across by taking the following actions:
  • ISPF Setting (0) Screen Format 3 - Max
  • TN3270 configuration setting - model type 5 (27x132)

From SDSF enter LOG to access the z/OS SYSLOG:
  1. Enter top to be at top of system log
  2. Enter bottom to be at bottom of system log
      the most recent messages written to the SYSLOG are at the bottom
  3. Enter right to shift display view right
  4. Enter left to shift display view left
  5. Cursor Scroll values such as csr, page, and max are available
  6. Enter cols to display a column ruler
  7. Find f is available to search for character strings
      Find is from current record toward bottom
      Find previous (prev) is needed to search from current record toward top
      Find string all is available


If you are interested in SYSLOG record details understood by highly experienced z/OS technicians,
then spend 9 minutes watching the following video presentation:
z/OS Introduction - Components, Messages, and the System Log

Challenge Description

You will be instructed to activate a user log (ulog) to capture SYSLOG output only related to your specific actions in the SYSLOG, print the user log content, then write the printed user log content to member #03 in partitioned data set p3.output.


Activate user log (ULOG)
  1. From SDSF enter ulog
  2. Display upper left area will read SDSF ULOG CONSOLE
  3. Terminate and purge previous ulog content, enter ulog close
  4. Press F3 or enter end to exit the ULOG panel

Note: SDSF command log displays content of the currently active SYSLOG

Capture SYSLOG output only related to your specific actions
Substitute your ID for z#####
  1. From SDSF enter ulog
  2. Enter command /d ts,z######
  3. Enter command /d m=cpu
  4. Enter command /d iplinfo
  5. Enter ulog again to display content of current ulog

Print the user log content

The following actions require you to be in the SDSF environment.

  1. From SDSF enter print
  2. Upper right of display will read LINES PRINTED

It possible for SDSF to print lines from the SYSLOG or the ULOG to a data set name. When printing without giving a data set name, the printed output is written to your TSO session ID output located in the JES spool.

Write the user log content to p3.output(#03)
Substitute your ID for z#####
  1. From SDSF enter owner z##### ; prefix z##### ; st
  2. Enter ? to the left of your ID
  3. A DDNAME beginning with SYS is in the list
  4. Select s the DDNAME beginning with SYS
      The content from ulog print should be displayed
  5. Enter end to return to JES spool listing of your ID
  6. Enter xdc to the left of the DDNAME with content from ulog print
  7. SDSF Open Print Data Set panel is displayed
  8. Tab to Data set name field
  9. Type (but do not hit enter yet) p3.output into Data set name field
  10. Tab to Member to use field
  11. Type (but do not hit enter yet) #03 into the Member to use field
  12. Tab to Dispostion field
  13. Type (but do not hit enter yet) SHR into the Disposition field
  14. Now enter tor write the content

Note: Failing to include "Member to use" and "Disposition" could overwrite all of p3.output resulting in loss of previous challenge output

Feel free to view your p3.output member #03 for content you would expect. When viewing #03 you might notice everything after column 80 is missing. That is perfectly OK.

The z/OS SYSLOG is in your collection of z/OS skills.

Next: Challenge #04