Preparing for transaction logging

Transaction logging captures all the changes that are made to databases and writes them to a transaction log. The logged transactions are written to disk in a batch when resources are available or at specified intervals.

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Use this checklist for your transaction logging planning.

  • Allocate space for the log files. Use a dedicated, mirrored device, such as RAID level 1 with a dedicated controller for optimal performance and data integrity.
  • Plan a backup strategy. Plan to archive the transaction logs daily using incremental backups. Schedule weekly full database backups. You will then be prepared if you have a media failure.
  • Decide which servers and databases will use transaction logging. Consider enabling transaction logging for all databases on the server.
  • Select a backup utility that is compatible with Domino®. The utility must be able to use the backup and recovery methods of the Domino® C API Toolkit.
  • Choose the logging style that fits your needs. Logging styles include archived, circular, and linear.
  • Set up a Domino® server for transaction logging

Comparing transaction logging styles

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There are three logging styles to choose from -- circular, linear, and archived. The logging style you choose is also dependent on your disk size and backup strategy.

With circular logging, Domino® reuses a fixed amount of disk space (up to 4GB) for transaction logs. After the disk space is used up, Domino® starts overwriting old transactions, starting with the oldest. When the space fills up, perform a backup on the databases. You may need to do daily backups to capture database changes before they are overwritten, depending on the server activity level. Use circular logging if the size of the log needed between full database backup intervals is less than 4GB.

Linear logging is like circular logging, except it allows more than 4GB. Use linear logging if the size of the log needed between full database backup intervals is greater than 4GB, and you are not using archive media.

Archived logging creates log files as needed. It simplifies backup and restoration, and provides online and partial backups. The log files are not overwritten until you archive them. With archived logging, you must have a backup utility to back up the filled log extents so that they are ready if needed. If you do not have a backup utility, the server continues to create log extents, fills up the disk space, and then panics.

Upgrading transaction logs to Domino® 8.5 format and greater

About this task

You can set a NOTES.INI parameter to upgrade the format of new transaction logs. The format is useful if the Domino® server has a disk block size different from 512 bytes. Upgraded logs created at server startup will have properly aligned blocks for i/o.


  1. Shut down the Domino® server.
  2. Delete the contents of the transaction log directory.
  3. Set the following parameter in the NOTES.INI file on the server:
  4. Restart the server.