SUMMARY: Network console servers and capturing output

From: Simon Falvey (
Date: Thu Dec 10 1998 - 09:54:53 CST

My original posting was...

> The use of network console servers has been mentioned a couple of
> times here and the various recommendations given have been very
> useful. What we would like to do is have the ability of capturing
> all console output to file (handy for crashes etc) even if a login
> session is not currently attached to the console and still retain
> the ability to retain use of the serial port as the console.
> Basically a serial line snoop is required.
> I suspect that the ability to do this will require a UNIX box front
> end rather than a true network terminal server. I have tried the
> various methods mentioned in John Clinton's "SUMMARY: Capturing text
> from a serial port" message but with no luck as although all output
> does indead to go a log and none of it goes to the serial comms
> package.
> John's message mentioned "Peek" but he was not provided any more
> information on this, would this do the job? Does anyone have any
> other ideas.

Many Thanks to those who responded

Virantha Mendis - For suggesting an old PC running procomm logging to a
Kai O'Yang - For suggesting using script before telnetting to an annex
box consoled console.
Jim Robertori - For suggesting centralised logging via syslog
Michael Pavlov - For suggesting using screen to allow detatching and
re-attching from a console session while keeping the log
Chris Phillips - For suggesting a package he wrote while working at called spoolcon (Haven't been able to track that one down
Ronald Loftin - For suggesting using a SCSI terminal server and using
tip from an IPC or similar.
Jean-Francois Fortin - For suggesting screen and tip
Philip Plane - For suggesting a perl script to connect to the console
line and gather any messages before putting them through syslog

I have had other suggestions such as using VNC (Virtual Network
Computing) which
allows unix/X/windows95/windowsNT/MAC all to be displayed on each others
screen (for free too!). Possibly overkill for the task I am trying to do

The star prize however goes to Richard Hellier and Roar Smith. For
suggesting a package called conserver
available at This does
exactly what I needed. I can run console sessions from any workstation
on the net, view the console in read only mode from any number of others
and the whole lot goes to a log file on the console server

Thanks again

Simon Falvey

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