Avoiding eDirectory Meltdowns With the 'eDirectory Transaction ID Finder
This program finds Transaction IDs embedded in eDirectory 8.7.3.x / 8.8x roll-forward log files (as found in the nds.rfl directory).
If repairs are not run regularly on your eDirectory servers, it is important to know the range of transaction IDs that are currently being issued on each server, so that you can take the necessary preventative action when required.
eDirectory is based on the FLAIM database engine, which has a maximum transaction value of FFFFE000 (hex) and as such it is possible to 'run out' of transaction IDs if a repair is not run (which will reduce the last transaction ID counter).
If a server does run out of transaction IDs, only Novell Technical Services has the ability to correct the problem.
See: eDirectory "Transaction ID" Warning / error -618 database stops working and won't open.
By using this program and comparing results, it is also possible to approximate how long it will be before a particular server runs out of transaction IDs, allowing you to plan accordingly if you have a 24x7 eDirectory server.
Running The Program
The program uses a copy of the roll-forward log from any 8.7.3.x or 8.8x database.
The roll-forward log files are normally located in:
- NetWare - SYS:\_netware\nds.rfl
- Linux - /var/opt/novell/eDirectory/data/nds.rfl
- Windows - C:\Novell\NDS\DIBFiles\nds.rfl
In most cases, the roll-forward log will be called 00000001.LOG and should have a fairly recent timestamp.
In some cases, there may be no log files, the log file may be only 512 bytes in size (no transactions) or there may be multiple log files.
Generally, only one log file is in use at any time by one eDirectory instance.
There are multiple ways to identify the current roll-forward log file. If there is only one log file in the nds.rfl directory then this is the file 'in use'. If there are multiple files, identifying the file with the latest time stamp should indicate which file is being used. The dsbk command can also be used:
- On NetWare: dsbk getconfig
Depending on the eDir version, the results are displayed on the logger screen or on a separate 'dsbk' console screen.
- On Linux: dsbk getconfig (if previously configured - if no /etc/dsbk.conf, will not work)
The output from the command is sent to the default log file (ndsd.log).
- On Windows: From control panel, run the 'Novell eDirectory services' applet. Highlight the dsbk.dlm line, enter the word 'getconfig' in the 'Startup Parameters' box, and then click on start. Nothing will appear to happen, but the config info should have been written to the output log file.
The output is written to C:\Novell\NDS\backup.out
Via iManager - eDirectory Maintenance - Backup Configuration options.
If there are no log files, you may need to enable roll-forward logging before you can make use of this program (see eDirectory documentation).
NOTE: In most cases roll-forward log files appear to be created and updated even if roll forward logging is set to OFF.
NOTE: Although it can be OK to delete log files which are no longer used, do not do this unless you need the space. Be sure you do not delete or modify the 'current' roll-forward log file as it could have severe consequences.
The program has been tested on SLED10 and Windows XP, but should run on any OS that supports Perl 5.5.8 or later.
The program was tested with Perl 5.5.8 on Linux and Activeperl 5.10.1 on MS Windows.
Make a new directory and place the roll.pl and allroll.pl programs in the directory. Acquire a copy of the the roll-forward log file from the server to be checked and place in the directory with the perl programs.
Execute the program using: perl roll.pl
Enter the name of the log file to be processed (case sensitive on Linux/Unix).
The program allroll.pl is included as a diagnostic utility which will extract ALL transaction IDs from a roll-forward log file regardless of age. The roll.pl program only references what it has identified as recent transactions and will not include transactions considered as 'old' data. Log files are actually re-used from the start, so the ordering of transaction IDs can appear to be inconsistent when viewing transactions from the whole file. The output file for the allroll.pl program is called 'All_eDir_Transactions.txt'.
When running dsrepair/ndsrepair in order to reduce the current transaction ID counter, please make sure you ONLY set the 2 options to 'yes' as indicated in TID#7002658. If any other combination of yes/no switches is used, the transaction ID will probably not be reduced.
Example Program Run / Output:
Name of roll-forward log file [Default=00000001.log]: 00000001.LOG
Last Transaction ID identified: Hex [6392b4e5] : HexMax [FFFFe000]
Dec  : DecMax 
Number of Transactions left : Dec  61.10% remaining
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.