Setting up trace and getting a full dump in the WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Liberty profile

Technote (troubleshooting)


Use this document to set up trace strings and request dumps for the WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Liberty Profile since there is no administrative console available.

Resolving the problem

For tracing components in traditional WebSphere Application Server refer to MustGather: Read first for WebSphere Application Server.

To request dumps for Liberty Profile running with IBM SDK:

Run the Liberty dump command on the target Liberty server to request the desired dump files. The dump type can be any combination of thread, heap or system. It is specified by:

  1. --include=thread
  2. --include=heap
  3. --include=system
  4. --include=thread,system,heap (or any combination)

NOTE: For Oracle SDKs the only supported type is "heap".

The location of the dump file will be returned when the command completes:
  • For Windows platforms, run:
    <LIBERTY_HOME>\bin\server.bat dump <serverName> --include=<desired dump type>

    For UNIX platforms, run:
    <LIBERTY_HOME>/bin/server dump <serverName> --include=<desired dump type>
  • Collect the resulting dump zip file.
    Note: The current Liberty dump command also gathers deployed applications.

Enabling Trace on Liberty Profile:

There are 2 formats for trace output - binary or HPEL which uses fewer resources and disk space but has to be formatted to be readable and BASIC which is readable. Binary HPEL format requires an addition to the file before starting servers and includes binaryTrace in the trace specifications. Once the file is edited, trace is picked up dynamically for both formats. . The trace strings are specific to a module or component within WebSphere Application Server Liberty profile that you want to troubleshoot. Examples are for the BASIC format.

  1. To enable tracing on the target Liberty server:
    1. To enable binary logging, first add this line to the file in the LIBERTY_HOME/usr/servers/<server> location :


    2. Open the server.xml file in the root directory of the target server:

      Where LIBERTY_HOME is the location of the extracted binary or is <AppServer>/wlp if Liberty Profile is installed with WebSphere Application Server Version 8.5
      Add the <logging> tag to the server.xml file with the following elements:

      For example, to trace for the web container component, you would add the following snippet to the server.xml file, with the appropriate traceSpecification not this example uses binaryTrace format (explanation to each of these elements is provided in the product documentation)

  2. If possible, stop the server and clear the logs under the following directory:

  3. Recreate the problem and collect the information.

  4. Follow instructions to send diagnostic information to IBM Support.

Trace specifications available

The following trace strings can be used as the trace specification with the instructions above to diagnose an issue in a specific component:
  • Deploy (EAR/WAR/EBA)

  • Connections/Connection Pooling/Transaction*=all:Transaction=all

  • Classloading*=all

    Also, so that native JVM classloader tracing is captured, add the following JVM arguments to <LIBERTY_HOME>/usr/servers/<server name>/jvm.options Add one argument on each line of the file, save, and stop-restart the server:
    -verbose:class -Dws.ext.debug  

    Note: osgi classloading issues require the use of the OSGI console
    see section on OSGI console
  • Configuration*=all
  • JAX-RS (Web services)*=all:org.apache.wink.*=all

  • JNDI and Naming
  • JSF*=all:org.apache.myfaces**
  • JavaServer Pages (JSP)
  • Java Management Extensions (JMX) or JMX client API (Server)*=all
  • Java Transaction Service (JTS)
  • Plug-in Generation*=all
  • PMI/Performance Tools*****=all
  • Aries / OSGi
  • Security**=all

    In addition:
    SSL=all (if SSL is enabled)
    SSLChannel=all (if HTTPS is enabled)

    Also, for SSL, if requested by IBM Support, enable a JSSE trace. Add the following JVM argument to <LIBERTY_HOME>/usr/servers/<server name>/jvm.options save, and stop-restart the server:
  • Servlet Engine/Web Container**=all:HTTPChannel=all
  • Sessions and Session Management***=all

    In addition:
    RRA=all (for database persistence issues)

  • SIBJMS connection problems
  • SIBJMS Communications and TCP/IP*=all
  • SIBJMS Client Applications
  • SIBJMS locked messages
  • SIBJMS message format and schema
  • SIBJMS message processor
  • SIBJMS message store
  • SIBJMS performance
  • SIBJMS publish/subscribe
  • SIBJMS security

Please see the full trace specifications in the related information URL.

Related information

Liberty profile: Trace and logging

Document information

More support for:

WebSphere Application Server

Software version:

8.5,,, 8.5.5,,,

Operating system(s):

AIX, HP-UX, IBM i, Linux, Solaris, Windows, z/OS

Reference #:


Modified date:


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