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When I start up my Red Hat box I see a progress meter in the center of the screen that has a button that says "Show Details...". When I click on this button, I see a console like screen that shows the starting up of the services and such. After the startup has completed and after I log in, is there some log file that I can look at to see what I saw during the startup? If so, where is that log file?

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After the system starts up, /var/log/boot.log should contain this information. If the system has been online for awhile, the information may be moved into another boot.log.* file in the same directory.

Also, you can check /var/log/messages for any other messages that may have been generated during system startup.

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According to an article in RHEL knowlegde base, /var/log/boot.log was populated from v5.0 to 5.2 only. Later versions stopped doing that (for a reason unknown to my common sense...).

The article contains an rc-bootlog.txt patch to apply to /etc/rc.d/rc with command

patch -bp0 <rc-bootlog.txt

I applied that patch and boot.log now contains the expected messages (running RHEL 5.4).

N.B. I'm mostly copy-pasting the interesting parts of that article, in fear it might disappear. You can edit my answer and remove those parts if you feel it's inappropriate.

Here is the rc-bootlog.txt:

--- /etc/rc.d/rc.orig   2011-06-07 17:56:18.000000000 -0400
+++ /etc/rc.d/rc    2014-05-07 18:38:21.000000000 -0400
@@ -7,6 +7,14 @@
 #               Miquel van Smoorenburg, <miquels@drinkel.nl.mugnet.org>

+# Part 1, Custom /var/log/boot.log enablement code
+# See https://access.redhat.com/site/solutions/9834
+exec 7>&1 1> >(tee -a /var/log/boot.log) 2>&1
+echo -e "\n================================================================================"
+echo -e "Entering runlevel $@  @  $(/bin/date +%Y-%m-%d\ %H:%M:%S)\n"
 set -m

 # check a file to be a correct runlevel script
@@ -68,6 +76,16 @@
    [ -f /var/lock/subsys/$subsys -o -f /var/lock/subsys/$subsys.init ] \
        && continue

+   #-------------------------------------------------------
+   # Part 2, Custom /var/log/boot.log enablement code
+   # Close out process writing to /var/log/boot.log
+   if [[ $subsys == halt || $subsys == reboot ]]; then
+       echo "Stopping boot.log logging..."
+       exec 1>&7 2>&7 7>&-
+       sleep .5
+   fi
+   #-------------------------------------------------------
    # If we're in confirmation mode, get user confirmation
    if [ -f /var/run/confirm ]; then
        confirm $subsys
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