Using the system log

The LOG command provides access to both the OPERLOG and the SYSLOG. The OPERLOG panel is very similar to the SYSLOG panel, the chief difference being that the OPERLOG panel can show data for all systems in a sysplex, while the SYSLOG panel shows data for only one system.

The OPERLOG panel allows authorized users to display a merged, sysplex-wide system message log, which contains console messages, operator commands, and operator responses for the MVS systems. Access it with the LOG O command.

The SYSLOG panel allows authorized users to display the system log, which is a collection of JES data sets that contain console messages, operator commands, and operator responses for a z/OS system. Access it with the LOG S command.

The OPERLOG panel offers the function of the SYSLOG panel (FIND, PRINT, and so on) plus some enhancements, including filtering and scrolling by day, hour, minute, and second. One other difference between the function for OPERLOG and SYSLOG is that the OPERLOG panel does not use absolute line numbers. A line number is not displayed on the title line, and line numbers are not used in functions such as LOCATE and PRINT.

Displaying the SYSLOG for a particular system

From the SYSLOG panel, you can display the SYSLOG for another LPAR in the sysplex with the SYSID parameter:
SYSID lpar

Expanding the number of lines searched

You can use the FINDLIM command to expand the maximum number of lines searched by the FIND command for OPERLOG and SYSLOG so that you do not have to search multiple times. For example:
FINDLIM 999999

Locating a log entry based on hh:mm:ss

You can locate an entry in the OPERLOG or SYSLOG by hh:mm:ss. For example:
LOCATE 13:08:43
Note: For the OPERLOG, you may find it more convenient to instead filter based on date or time using less than (<) or greater than (>), and not equal to (=), if you do not know the exact time of the log entry.

Filtering the OPERLOG

You can use the FILTER command described in Setting complex filters to filter the OPERLOG. You might want to filter on the following fields:
  • DATE
  • TIME
For example, the following example filters messages for the string "DEVICE".

Using SET SCREEN to define highlighting in OPERLOG

The Set Screen Characteristics pop-up for OPERLOG lets you set values for message color and highlighting on the OPERLOG panel, based on descriptor code. The values you specify override the color and highlighting that were used when the message was originally issued. Leaving a field blank means that the message will appear on the OPERLOG panel using the original color and highlighting.

To make informational (descriptor 12) messages more visible, SDSF provides a default value of Yellow for the color. The Use color and highlighting field lets you disable or enable the use of color for messages on the OPERLOG panel. The values you set are saved across ISPF SDSF sessions. The results depend on your terminal type.

  1. Enter SET SCREEN without any parameters.
  2. On the Set Screen Characteristics pop-up, select the OPERLOG.
  3. The Set Screen Characteristics: OPERLOG Panel pop-up is displayed:
            Set Screen Characteristics: OPERLOG Panel               
                                                       More:     +     
     Use color and highlighting    1   1. Yes   2. No                  
     Type values to override the original color and highlighting.      
     Press F5/17 to see changes.                                       
     Descriptor code                  Color    Highlight  Intensity    
      1 - System failure                                               
      2 - Immediate action required                                    
      3 - Eventual action required                                     
      4 - System status                                                
      5 - Immediate command response                                   
      6 - Job status                                                   
      7 - Task-related                                                 
      8 - Out of line                                                  
      9 - Operator's request                                           
     10 - Not defined                                                  
     11 - Critical eventual action                                     
     12 - Important information
  4. Enter values to override the defaults. The valid values are as follows:
    • Colors: Blue, Green, Pink, Red, Turq, White, Yellow
    • Highlighting: Blink, Normal, Reverse, Uscore
    • Intensity: High, Low
    To see your changes reflected on the pop-up, press F5.


You can use the mechanisms described in Printing from SDSF Panels to print data from OPERLOG and SYSLOG.

As one example, the following PRINT command prints messages from 01:00:00 to 02:00:00 to SYSOUT:

PT S; PT 01:00:00 02:00:00; PT CLOSE