Display JVM log files in WebSphere Application Server (WAS) admin console

WebSphere Application Server (tWAS) administrative console provides the ability to display the JVM log files SystemOut.log and SystemErr.log via the WebSphere Application Server administrative console (Troubleshooting > Logs and trace > ${server_name} > JVM logs > Runtime). This works nicely in older versions of WebSphere Application Server or if the logs are in the standard log location ${profile_home}/logs/${server_name}.

However with current fixpack versions of the supported WAS releases this does not work anymore if the location of the log files is outsite of the current ${was_home}, ${profile_home} or WEB_INSTALL_ROOT directories. In this case the WAS Admin Console does not show any file names but instead shows a linke with the message ${server_name} has not been started what is confusing as on all other panels the server is shown as running.

If you try to check the logs of the dmgr you see an exception like:

[15/01/20 14:11:27:305 CET] 000000aa SOAPConnector <  handleAdminFault Exit
                                 javax.management.MBeanException: Exception thrown in RequiredModelMBean while trying to invoke operation listRemoteFiles
Caused by: com.ibm.websphere.management.fileservice.FileServiceException: Unable to provide a list of remote files in directory /var/log/WebSphere/node01/C4SEDU1Server111. FileBrowser MBean allows accessing only to WASHome, profileHome and WEB_INSTALL_ROOT.
        at com.ibm.ws.management.fileservice.FileBrowserImpl.listRemoteFiles(FileBrowserImpl.ja

In an ND environment when trying to look at the logs of the managed servers you don’t see any indication of this error in the logs unless you enable the tracing from the WAS Admin Console Must-Gather (https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/mustgather-administrative-console-problems-websphere-application-server).

As per https://developer.ibm.com/answers/questions/460721/why-i-am-receiving-a-blank-page-and-a-javalangnull/ the reason for this is a change introduced in PI90042.

To enable displaying of the JVM logs in the admin console again you need to set the following custom JVM property: com.ibm.ws.management.fileservice.allAccess=true.

This property must be set as custom JVM property:

  • on the dmgr and nodeagent(s) in ND environments
  • on the application server in standalone environments

NB: Don’t forget to restart the JVM(s) after saving the configuration changes.