This documentation is for an older version of the software. If you are using the current version of Cumulus Linux, this content may not be up to date. The current version of the documentation is available here. If you are redirected to the main page of the user guide, then this page may have been renamed; please search for it there.

Monitoring and Troubleshooting

This chapter introduces monitoring and troubleshooting Cumulus Linux.


  • cl-support
  • fw_setenv

Using the Serial Console

The serial console can be a useful tool for debugging issues, especially when you find yourself rebooting the switch often or if you don’t have a reliable network connection.

The default serial console baud rate is 115200, which is the baud rate ONIE uses.

Configuring the Serial Console on PowerPC or ARM Switches

On PowerPC switches, the U-Boot environment variable baudrate identifies the baud rate of the serial console. To change the baudrate variable, use the fw_setenv command:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo fw_setenv baudrate 9600
Updating environment variable: `baudrate'
Proceed with update [N/y]? y

You must reboot the switch for the baudrate change to take effect.

The valid values for baudrate are:

  • 300
  • 600
  • 1200
  • 2400
  • 4800
  • 9600
  • 19200
  • 38400
  • 115200

Configuring the Serial Console on x86 Switches

On x86 switches, you configure serial console baud rate by editing grub.

Incorrect configuration settings in grub can cause the switch to be inaccessible via the console. Grub changes should be carefully reviewed before implementation.

The valid values for the baud rate are:

  • 300
  • 600
  • 1200
  • 2400
  • 4800
  • 9600
  • 19200
  • 38400
  • 115200

To change the serial console baud rate:

  1. Edit /etc/default/grub. The two relevant lines in /etc/default/grub are as follows; replace the 115200 value with a valid value specified above in the --speed variable in the first line and in the console variable in the second line:

    GRUB_SERIAL_COMMAND="serial --port=0x2f8 --speed=115200 --word=8 --parity=no --stop=1"              
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="console=ttyS1,115200n8 cl_platform=accton_as5712_54x"
  2. After you save your changes to the grub configuration, type the following at the command prompt:

    cumulus@switch:~$ update-grub
  3. If you plan on accessing your switch’s BIOS over the serial console, you need to update the baud rate in the switch BIOS. For more information, see this knowledge base article.

  4. Reboot the switch.

Diagnostics Using cl-support

You can use cl-support to generate a single export file that contains various details and the configuration from a switch. This is useful for remote debugging and troubleshooting.

You should run cl-support before you submit a support request to Cumulus Networks as this file helps in the investigation of issues:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo cl-support -h
Usage: cl-support [-h] [reason]...
[reason]: Optional reason to give for invoking cl-support.
         Saved into tarball's reason.txt file.
-h: Print this usage statement

Example output:

cumulus@switch:~$ ls /var/support

The directory structure is compressed using LZMA2 compression and can be extracted using the unxz command:

cumulus@switch:~$ cd /var/support
cumulus@switch:~$ sudo unxz cl_support_20130729_140040.tar.xz
cumulus@switch:~$ sudo tar xf cl_support_20130729_140040.tar
cumulus@switch:~$ ls -l cl_support_20130729_140040/

-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 7724 Jul 29 14:00 cl-support
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   52 Jul 29 14:00 cmdline.args
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Jul 29 14:00 core
drwxr-xr-x 64 root root 4096 Jul 29 13:51 etc
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root 4096 Jul 29 14:00 proc
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Jul 29 14:01 support
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Jul 29 14:00 sys
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Aug  8 15:22 var

The directory contains the following elements:

coreContains the core files generated from Cumulus Linux HAL process, switchd.
etcIs a replica of the switch’s /etc directory. /etc contains all the general Linux configuration files, as well as configurations for the system’s network interfaces, quagga, jdoo, and other packages.
logIs a replica of the switch’s /var/log directory. Most Cumulus Linux log files are located in this directory. Notable log files include switchd.log, daemon.log, quagga log files, and syslog. For more information, read this knowledge base article.
procIs a replica of the switch’s /proc directory. In Linux, /proc contains runtime system information (like system memory, devices mounted, and hardware configuration). These files are not actual files but the current state of the system.
supportIs a set of files containing further system information, which is obtained by cl-support running commands such as ps -aux, netstat -i, and so forth - even the routing tables.

cl-support, when untarred, contains a reason.txt file. This file indicates what reason triggered it. When contacting Cumulus Networks technical support, please attach the cl-support file if possible. For more information about cl-support, read Understanding and Decoding the cl-support Output File.

Sending Log Files to a syslog Server

All logging on Cumulus Linux is done with rsyslog. rsyslog provides both local logging to the syslog file as well as the ability to export logs to an external syslog server. High precision timestamps are enabled for all rsyslog log files; here’s an example:

2015-08-14T18:21:43.337804+00:00 cumulus switchd[3629]: switchd.c:1409 switchd version 1.0-cl2.5+5

There are applications in Cumulus Linux that write directly to a log file without going through rsyslog. These files are typically located in /var/log/.

Starting with Cumulus Linux 2.5.4, all Cumulus Linux rules have been moved from /etc/rsyslog.conf into separate files in /etc/rsyslog.d/, which are called at the end of the GLOBAL DIRECTIVES section of /etc/rsyslog.conf. As a result, the RULES section at the end of rsyslog.conf is ignored because the messages have to be processed by the rules in /etc/rsyslog.d and then dropped by the last line in /etc/rsyslog.d/99-syslog.conf.

Local Logging

Most logs within Cumulus Linux are sent through rsyslog, which then writes them to files in the /var/log directory. There are default rules in the /etc/rsyslog.d/ directory that define where the logs are written:

10-rules.confSets defaults for log messages, include log format and log rate limits.
15-crit.confLogs crit, alert or emerg log messages to /var/log/crit.log to ensure they are not rotated away rapidly.
20-clagd.confLogs clagd messages to /var/log/clagd.log for MLAG.
25-switchd.confLogs switchd messages to /var/log/switchd.log.
30-ptmd.confLogs ptmd messages to /var/log/ptmd.log for Prescription Topology Manager.
99-syslog.confAll remaining processes that use rsyslog are sent to /var/log/syslog.

Log files that are rotated are compressed into an archive. Processes that do not use rsyslog write to their own log files within the /var/log directory. For more information on specific log files, see Troubleshooting Log Files.

Enabling Remote syslog

If you need to send other log files - such as switchd logs - to a syslog server, do the following:

  1. Create a file in /etc/rsyslog.d/. Make sure it starts with a number lower than 99 so that it executes before log messages are dropped in, such as 20-clagd.conf or 25-switchd.conf. Our example file is called /etc/rsyslog.d/11-remotesyslog.conf. Add content similar to the following:

    ## Logging switchd messages to remote syslog server
    $ModLoad imfile
    $InputFileName /var/log/switchd.log
    $InputFileStateFile logfile-log
    $InputFileTag switchd:
    $InputFileSeverity info
    $InputFileFacility local7
    $InputFilePollInterval 5
    if $programname == 'switchd' then @

    This configuration sends log messages to a remote syslog server for the following processes: clagd, switchd, ptmd, rdnbrd, netd and syslog. The if $programname line sends the log files to the syslog server. It follows the same syntax as the /var/log/syslog file, where @ indicates UDP, is the IP address of the syslog server, and 514 is the UDP port.

    For TCP-based syslog, use two @@ before the IP address: @@

    Running syslog over TCP places a burden on the switch to queue packets in the syslog buffer. This may cause detrimental effects if the remote syslog server becomes unavailable.

    The numbering of the files in /etc/rsyslog.d/ dictates how the rules are installed into rsyslog.d. If you want to remotely log only the messages in /var/syslog, and not those in /var/log/clagd.log or /var/log/switchd.log, for instance, then name the file 98-remotesyslog.conf, since it’s lower than the /var/syslog file 99-syslog.conf only.

  2. Restart rsyslog.

    cumulus@switch:~$ sudo rsyslog restart

In the above configuration, each setting is defined as follows:

$ModLoad imfileEnables the rsyslog module to watch file contents.
$InputFileNameThe file to be sent to the syslog server. In this example, you are going to send changes made to /var/log/switchd.log to the syslog server.
$InputFileStateFileThis is used by rsyslog to track state of the file being monitored. This must be unique for each file being monitored.
$InputFileTagDefines the syslog tag that will precede the syslog messages. In this example, all logs are prefaced with switchd.
$InputFileSeverityDefines the logging severity level sent to the syslog server.
$InputFileFacilityDefines the logging format. local7 is common.
$InputFilePollIntervalDefines how frequently in seconds rsyslog looks for new information in the file. Lower values provide faster updates but create slightly more load on the CPU.
$InputRunFileMonitorEnables the file monitor module with the configured settings.

In most cases, the settings to customize include:

$InputFileNameThe file to stream to the syslog server.
$InputFileStateFileA unique name for each file being watched.
$InputFileTagA prefix to the log message on the server.

Next Steps

The links below discuss more specific monitoring topics.