Category Archives: Sysadmin


Deleting temp and wstemp on Microsoft Windows Server

Since some versions of IBM Connections, it is mandatory to delete temp and wstemp of your Connections node after deployment or updates, or you end up with an old layout/design of Connections GUI.

On a Windows Server System this can be a pain, because within temp/wstemp WebSphere Application Server creates a folder structure with nodename / application server name and so on. In must cases the delete ends with the message “path too long”.

So you can start and rename the folders and try to delete over and over again. A time consuming activity and you need to do several times during an update.

There are several tips around, but most of them need an extra tool installed. I searched for a solution for this for a long time, but never blogged about the way I normally use to avoid this. I remembered during a skype discussion with other Connections guys some days ago, so here is the easiest and fasted way to get rid of long paths:

Path too long? Use Robocopy (thanks Bert van Langen)

Robocopy is a great tool and it is installed by default since Windows Server 2008, I use it during migrations to move the IBM Connections shared data to an other place, but it’s easy to create an empty folder and move it to the temp folder of the WebSphere Application server node.

Here as an example:

mkdir d:\empty 
robocopy d:\empty D:\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\profiles\AppSrv01\temp /purge

But be careful, robocopy is not using the trash, so when you type the wrong path, or forget the \temp, you end up with searching the backup tapes.

Using Docker and ELK to Analyze WebSphere Application Server SystemOut.log

I often get SystemOut.log files from customers or friends to help them analyzing a problem. Often it is complicated to find the right server and application which generates the real error, because most WebSphere Applications (like IBM Connections or Sametime) are installed on different Application Servers and Nodes. So you need to open multiple large files in your editor, scroll each to the needed timestamps and check the lines before for possible error messages.

Klaus Bild showed on several conferences and in his blog the functionality of ELK, so I thought about using ELK too. I started to build a virtual machine with ELK Stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash & Kibana) and imported my local logs and logs i got mailed. This way is cool to analyze your environment, but adding just some SystemOut.logs from outside is not the best way. It’s hard to remove this stuff after analyzing from a ELK instance.

Then I found a tutorial to install ELK with Docker, there is even a great Part 2 of this post, which helps us installing an ELK Cluster. Just follow this blog posts, install Docker and Docker-compose. It’s really fast deployed. In my case i do not use flocker, it’s enough to use a local data container for the elasticsearch data.

Why do I use Docker instead of a virtual machine? It’s super easy to just drop the data container and begin with an empty database.

My setup

I created a folder on my Mac to put all needed stuff for the Docker images to it:

mkdir elk
cd elk