IBM Support

MustGather: Web container problems in WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Liberty



Collecting data for problems with the IBM WebSphere web container and Servlet engine component. Gathering this MustGather information before you call IBM support can help you understand the problem and save time analyzing the data.

Resolving The Problem

If you contacted support, continue on to the component-specific MustGather information. Otherwise, click MustGather: Read first for all WebSphere Application Server and Liberty.

Servlet engine and web container specific MustGather information:
If possible, provide a simple test case that has no external dependencies. If a test case cannot be provided, collect the following data.
  1. Run genHistoryReport.bat or, which is located in the following directory:
  2. Stop the web server and delete all Web server logs and the http_plugin.log file on the web server system.
  3. If you suspect that the problem might be related to the WebSphere Application Server plug-in, or to the web server itself, enable a full plug-in trace. To perform a plug-in trace, see the Plug-in MustGather documents.
  4. Start the web server.
  5. Important: Synchronize clocks on all web servers and WebSphere Application Server systems.
  6. Enable and collect Application Server traces with the following trace string:
Enable the trace for Traditional WebSphere Application Server:
Note: For detailed instructions on enabling trace, see How to setup a Trace.
Trace Specification:

Note: There should not be any spaces or '.' between webcontainer and '*' for the trace strings shown.

For Remote Request Dispatcher issues, append this string as well:*=all

For Async Request Dispatcher issues, append this string as well:*=all

Make sure to increase the maximum trace file size to 100MB and increase the maximum number of the historical log files to 10.

7. Take backup and delete all Application Server logs:
  • native_stderr.log
  • native_stdout.log
  • SystemOut.log
  • SystemErr.log

The log files are located in the following directory:
Note: If you configured to write Application Server log files into a different location, then clear them accordingly.
8. Delete all WebSphere Application Server FFDC logs. FFDC files are located in the following directory:
Note: If you configured to write FFDC log files into a different location, then clear them accordingly.
9. Restart the server and re-create the issue.

Enable the trace for WebSphere Liberty:
1. Open your server.xml file located within the <LIBERTY_HOME>/usr/servers/<server name>/ directory

2. Add the following <logging> element:

<logging traceSpecification="**=all:HTTPChannel=all:GenericBNF=all:HTTPDispatcher=all" traceFileName="trace.log" maxFileSize="100" maxFiles="10" traceFormat="BASIC" />

Note: When using Jakarta EE 10 feature or servlet-6.0 feature with Liberty use below <logging> element

<logging traceSpecification="io.openliberty.webcontainer***=all:HTTPChannel=all:GenericBNF=all:HTTPDispatcher=all" traceFileName="trace.log" maxFileSize="100" maxFiles="10" traceFormat="BASIC" />

3. Clear and backup old log files within <LIBERTY_HOME>/usr/servers/<server name>/logs directory

4. Stop the application server then start the server with the following parameter added

       server start <SERVER_NAME> --clean

5. Re-create the issue. 
6. Run the following command from the bin directory:
      server dump <SERVER_NAME>
      (this creates a .zip file in the /usr/servers/<SERVER_NAME>/ directory)

When the problem is re-created, collect the following data:
Traditional WebSphere Application Server:
  1. Capture a browser screen displaying the error with friendly HTTP Errors disabled. Press <Alt>+<PrtSc> to capture the current browser window into the clipboard. Paste that into a file.
  2. Collect the following documents and information:
    1. Were clocks synchronized?
    2. The Application Server logs:
    3. FFDC logs with the current date from the following directory:
    4. The server.xml file that is located in the directory:
    5. The http_plugin.log file.
    6. The plugin-cfg.xml file.
    7. The web server configuration files, such as httpd.conf for IBM HTTP Server.
    8. The web server logs, such as access and error logs for IBM HTTP Server.
    9. Screen capture.
    10. The historyReport.html file from running genHistoryReport.bat or
    11. Run tool from install_root/bin. Follow the instructions to run the collector tool and provide the hostname -ND-WASenv.jar or hostname -Base -WASenv.jar file.
WebSphere Liberty:
  • .zip file in the /usr/servers/<SERVER_NAME/ directory that are created by the server dump.

For a listing of all technotes, downloads, and educational materials specific to the servlet engine and web container components, search the WebSphere Application Server support site.

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Document Information

Modified date:
19 January 2023