Cisco Unity Express Troubleshooting

This topic describes the Cisco Unity Express troubleshooting tools.

GUI administrator helps detect and categorize issues:

  • Reporting for real-time information to detect possible issues
  • MWI refresh, system parameters, and limits check

show commands can verify system parameters and status:

  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express show commands
  • Cisco Unity Express CLI show commands show incrementing error counters and focus on the module and entity causing the errors

Tracing will solicit detailed information from the system:

  • Information on timing and sequences of activities
  • Messaging and events between system components
  • Can be enabled from the GUI or the CLI, but can only be viewed from the CLI

The GUI, although effective for day-to-day additions, moves, and changes, is not an effective tool for troubleshooting the Cisco Unity Express system. You can use the GUI for reporting, to reload Cisco Unity Express, view the system configuration, refresh MWI lights if they are out of synchronization, and turn on the tracing function. To effectively troubleshoot, you must use the CLI tools and functions.

There are three categories of tools that can be used from the Cisco Unity Express CLI. The first category is theshow commands. Use the many available show commands to view the configuration, settings, and status of the Cisco Unity Express system.

Logging messages is another troubleshooting tool that you can use to diagnose a problem. The unsolicited messages that come out of the system have a severity level that is associated with them. These messages usually go to an internal login memory or to an external syslog server, if configured.

Tracing is the equivalent of debugging in Cisco IOS Software. Summary information to detailed information is displayed on the screen, sent to a syslog server, or stored in memory. Use the trace tools to focus on a specific aspect of the system.

To start troubleshooting Cisco Unity Express, use the show errors command to see which components of the system have errors. Invoke the problem that is occurring, if it is repeatable, and try to identify which modules are increasing the error counters.

Then, use the show logs command to view the logs and the show log name log-name command to view the contents of the log files. This information may further define the problem or component that is causing the errors.


This topic describes how logging works in Cisco Unity Express.

Four levels of logging output exist:

  • Info: Syslog levels Debug, Info, and Notice
  • Warning: Syslog level Warning
  • Error: Syslog level Error
  • Fatal: Syslog levels Critical, Alert, and Emergency

Three possible destinations for logging messages:

  • Message.log text file on the hard disk or flash of Cisco Unity Express, (default) 100-MB maximum size, history of two is kept
  • Console of Cisco Unity Express
  • External syslog server

There are four levels of output within the logging functions of Cisco Unity Express. These levels are listed here in order, from least significant to most significant:

  • Info: Informational messages and notices
  • Warning: Events that may require attention
  • Error: Significant events that can affect functions
  • Fatal: Critical alerts and emergencies that can affect the stability of the system

By default, a Cisco Unity Express Network Module system sends all four categories of logging messages to a messages.log file on the hard disk or flash. The messages.log text file has a maximum size of 100 MB. A history of two messages log files is kept as follows:

  • When the messages.log file reaches a set size, the system renames it messages.log.prev and starts a new messages.log file.
  • When the messages.log file once again reaches a predetermined size, the old messages.log.prev is deleted. The current messages.log file is renamed messages.log.prev, and another new messages.log file is created. This loop continues indefinitely.

The logging output can be directed to the following three destinations:

  • Messages.log: The logging messages can be sent to this text file, which resides on the storage of the Cisco Unity Express module. This action is the default.
  • Console: Real-time messages or historical logs can be displayed on the Cisco Unity Express console.
  • Syslog: The logging messages can be sent to an external syslog server.

Cisco Unity Express Trace Tool

This topic describes the Cisco Unity Express trace tool.

  • Equivalent of Cisco IOS Software debug command
  • Composed of modules:
    1. Module is composed of one or more entities
    2. Entity may have one or more activities under it
  • Output to trace buffer or stored in atrace.log file
  • Used as temporary troubleshooting tool
CUE(config)# log trace local enable
CUE# show trace
MODULE           ENTITY          SETTING
config-ccn       sip-subsystem   00000001
config-ccn       jtapi-subsystem 00000001
config-ccn       sip-trigger     00000001
LOG NAME                         STATUS
atrace.log                       enabled

Although logging consists of unsolicited messages, the administrator configures tracing. Tracing in Cisco Unity Express is the equivalent of using debug commands in Cisco IOS Software.

Knowledge of the system architecture is useful for understanding the structures within the trace settings. Within the trace tool, there are modules. Within the modules, there are entities. Entities are composed of one or more activities. When configuring tracing, the administrator can enable all of these entities or any combination of these entities.

The trace output is stored in the atrace.log file, which is stored in the Cisco Unity Express module.

Use the log trace local enable command to allow the trace buffer to be written to flash.


Excessive tracing can cause performance issues in the Cisco Unity Express system. Use tracing as a temporary troubleshooting tool. Turn off tracing when the relevant output has been gathered.

trace Commands via the CLI

This topic describes the Cisco Unity Express trace command.

  • Tracing can be turned on independently for specific modules.
    1. Each module has a number of entities that can be traced individually.
    2. Each entity has activities that can be traced individually.
  • The trace all command overrides any prior, more granular trace command.
  • Trace on and off settings return to their default if Cisco Unity Express is rebooted. The no trace allcommand turns tracing off.
CUE# trace ?
   vmclient           Module
   aaa                 Module
   voiceview-ccn   Module
   um2                Module 
   management    Module

To enable tracing from the CLI, use the trace command. The trace command can be used to turn on a specific trace entity, a whole trace module, or all tracing. Turning on tracing for a higher-level object overrides tracing of lower-level objects.

Like debugging in Cisco IOS Software on a router, tracing does not survive the reboot of Cisco Unity Express. The trace setting returns to its defaults on a reboot. The no trace all command turns tracing off.

Enter the following to view the trace command options:

CUE# trace ?
  vmclient          Module 
  aaa               Module 
  voiceview-ccn     Module 
  management        Module
  um2               Module 
  sysdb             Module 
  operation         Module 
  editorexpress     Module 
  BackupRestore     Module 
  configapi         Module 
  gateway           Module 
  dbclient          Module 
  ccn               Module 
  config-ccn        Module 
  snmp              Module 
  voicemail         Module 
  all               Every module, entity and activity 
  rest              Module 
  ums               Module 
  security          Module 
  imap              Module 
  udppacer          Module 
  caff-sip          Module 
  voiceview         Module 
  capi              Module 
  entityManager     Module 
  smtpclient        Module 
  webInterface      Module 
  limitsManager     Module 
  webapp            Module 
  license           Module 
  eecompiler        Module
  superthread       Module 
  networking        Module
  sitemanager       Module 
  csta              Module 
  ntp               Module 
  dns               Module

The copy log logname url url command copies the logging files to a server, such as an FTP server. Once copied, the text-based log files can be viewed with a text editor.

Because the amount of information in the file can be significant, the search features of text editors can be useful for finding specific information or time stamps.

The trace.log trace output file is not text-based and cannot be viewed with a text editor. It may be necessary to send the trace.log file to Cisco when requested by technical support.

The log server address {ip-address | hostname} command can configure an external server for saving log messages.

If a syslog server is not present in the network, the logging messages that are stored in the log file can be viewed by sending the messages.log file to an FTP server. After the file is on the server, you can view the file by using any text editor. Using a text editor is much easier than trying to view the messages.log file on the console of the Cisco Unity Express system. To save the trace configuration upon rebooting, use the log trace bootcommand.

To display a list of events in memory, use the show trace buffer command in Cisco Unity Express EXEC mode. Stop the output by pressing Ctrl-C. The trace buffer in memory can be up to 10 MB in size. To display a list of events from the atrace.log file, use the show trace store command in Cisco Unity Express EXEC mode.

To trace large amounts of data, send the information directly to the FTP server. Offline traces have the least performance impact. This activity is accomplished from configuration mode as follows:

  • Use the log trace server url command to define the FTP server.
  • Use the log trace server enable command to enable trace output to the FTP server.

Issue the show trace buffer tail command to view trace information in real time.

GUI Macro Feature

This topic describes how to enable Cisco Unity Express trace options by using the GUI.

  • Choose Administration > Traces to enable trace options.
    1. Same trace options as CLI.
    2. Traces cannot be viewed from the GUI.
  • Selecting a module automatically selects individual suboptions (macro level).
  • Example: Checking the caff-sip check box will also check all nested boxes.
  • Individual options can be checked or unchecked (micro level).

To enable Cisco Unity Express trace options using the GUI, choose Administration > Traces. The window displays a hierarchical listing of the system components.

To enable a trace on a system component, check the check box next to the name of the component. To expand the listing of components, click the plus (+) sign next to the upper-level components. Check the box next to an upper-level component (a module or entity) to enable the traces for all of the components that are under that component. Uncheck the box next to an upper-level component to disable the traces for all of the components that are under that component.


The GUI and CLI have the same trace options. However, traces cannot be viewed from the GUI.

The Cisco Unity Express GUI macro feature speeds up the process of selecting trace options. When selecting a trace module, the macro automatically selects the individual suboptions. For example, after selecting the voicemail check box, all nested boxes are also checked. Individual options can be checked or unchecked at the micro level.


Author: drbabbers - my personal journey to ccie