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I issued a reboot command but the server failed to reboot instead we lost communication with it, and we had to call the company to reset it.

I am not an advanced users, but I want to check the log messages to see why failed rebooting properly. It is an ubuntu linux.

Please kindly tell me where to look and how to read the log files.

share|improve this question
If the system booted properly when they turned it off and on, it's most likely an issue in the shutdown scripts, so you'd need to be sure to look at the logs starting from that point. It could also be an issue with the hardware/BIOS itself being unable to warm reboot, in which case the hosting company would have to look at the system's console to see where it is getting stuck. – DerfK Jul 19 '11 at 13:39
Did the company you called told you the server was on or off when they had to reset it? That would help isolate if the problem occurred during shutdown or during bootup. – Alex Jul 19 '11 at 13:55
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Linux Log files and usage

=> /var/log/messages : General log messages

=> /var/log/boot : System boot log

=> /var/log/debug : Debugging log messages

=> /var/log/auth.log : User login and authentication logs

=> /var/log/daemon.log : Running services such as squid, ntpd and others log message to this file

=> /var/log/dmesg : Linux kernel ring buffer log

=> /var/log/dpkg.log : All binary package log includes package installation and other information

=> /var/log/faillog : User failed login log file

=> /var/log/kern.log : Kernel log file

=> /var/log/lpr.log : Printer log file

=> /var/log/mail.* : All mail server message log files

=> /var/log/mysql.* : MySQL server log file

=> /var/log/user.log : All userlevel logs

=> /var/log/xorg.0.log : log file

=> /var/log/apache2/* : Apache web server log files directory

=> /var/log/lighttpd/* : Lighttpd web server log files directory

=> /var/log/fsck/* : fsck command log

=> /var/log/apport.log : Application crash report / log file

To view log files at shell prompt

Use tail, more, less and grep command. tail -f /var/log/apport.log\

more /var/log/xorg.0.log

cat /var/log/mysql.err

less /var/log/messages

grep -i fail /var/log/boot

share|improve this answer
I don't have apport.log The others did not return anything except messages and I did not undertood what I have to look there. – Pentium10 Jul 19 '11 at 13:48
check Generel messages- tail /var/log/messages – Alexander Pavluchenko Jul 19 '11 at 14:21

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