You should consult this page when something goes wrong with the installation or use of Sawmill.

Sawmill doesn't run properly when I try to run/launch it...

On Windows and MacOS, this should never happen; double-clicking Sawmill, or running it from the Start menu, should bring up a window with the Sawmill logo and login. If it doesn't, please contact us at, so we can investigate it.

On UNIX, this can be the major initial obstacle to using Sawmill. There are dozens of types of UNIX out there, and often several variants of each type. Since Sawmill is a binary compiled program, it will only run on a system similar to the one it was built on. We have attempted the difficult task of building Sawmill on as many different systems as possible, to ensure that it runs on the vast majority of customers' machines, but it is a difficult task due to the great variety available.

To start, you need to find a version of Sawmill with a hardware architecture and operating system which matches yours. For instance, if you're running Linux on an x86/Pentium system, you need to download the version of Sawmill for x86/Linux. The x86/FreeBSD version won't work, and neither will the Alpha/Linux version. If there are several versions of Sawmill which seem to approximately match your setup, try them all -- keep running them until one of them works. Remember that you have to gunzip and untar them before you can use them -- see Installation. If possible, run them from the command line (e.g. using ssh or telnet) first, even if you intend to run them as CGI -- there are a lot fewer things that can go wrong with a command-line run, so you'll know right away if it doesn't work. If none of them work when run from the command line (via ssh or telnet), please contact us at, so we can help you get Sawmill running.

If you can't run Sawmill from the command line (i.e. if you have only FTP access to your server), you can still use it. You'll need to gunzip it and untar it somewhere else (gunzip and untar programs are available for all platforms), and then upload the sawmill binary program (the large file in the resulting directory) and the LogAnalysisInfo directory in binary mode to your cgi-bin directory. Change it to readable and executable by "all" or "world" using your ftp client (using chmod or whatever your ftp client uses to change permissions). If possible, change your cgi-bin directory to world writable temporarily during the Sawmill install; it makes the install simpler. Some servers won't allow that, so if you have problems, change it back to world read-only and try again. In any event, you should change it back to read-only after installation. Once the binary is there and ready to run, try running it from a web browser, using the appropriate URL for your server, it's often something like If you get an error, try looking in your web server's error log, if one is available, to see what went wrong. If it simply didn't run, or crashed, and if there's another version available for your platform, try that version instead. If none of the versions work, please contact us at

The web browser crashes...

It is important to distinguish this problem from "Sawmill crashes" listed below. If you are using Sawmill through a web browser, and the one displaying the Sawmill menu disappears, then it is your web browser that has crashed, not Sawmill. This is usually caused by a bug in your web browser -- make sure you are running the latest version of your browser.

Sawmill crashes...

Verify that it was really Sawmill, and not your web browser, that crashed. The most common cause of crashes is when Sawmill runs out of memory while building a database. Try watching Sawmill's memory usage while it is processing, to see if it is consuming all available memory. Change the memory usage by using top on UNIX, or the Process Manager on Windows, or the About This Computer window on MacOS. Sawmill will often generate an error when it runs out of memory, but due to technical reasons, this is not always possible, and sometimes running out of memory can cause Sawmill to crash. See Sawmill runs out of memory, below, for suggestions on limiting Sawmill's memory usage.

Barring out-of-memory problems, Sawmill should never crash; if it does, it is probably a significant bug in Sawmill. We do our best to ensure that Sawmill is bug-free, but all software has bugs, including Sawmill. If Sawmill is crashing on your computer, we would like to hear about it -- please send email to, describing the type of computer you are using and the circumstances surrounding the crash. We will track down the cause of the crash, fix it, and send you a fixed version of Sawmill.

Sawmill runs out of memory...

Sawmill can use a lot of memory when it processes large amounts of data. If there is not enough memory available for Sawmill to perform the task you have requested, it will generate an error message, reporting that it could not allocate as much memory as it needed, and it will stop doing whatever it was doing.

One way to fix this problem is to increase the amount of memory available to Sawmill. On Windows and MacOS, there is usually no operating-system memory restriction on Sawmill, but if you're using a shared server, there may be one -- if you find Sawmill is running out of memory or crashing immediately when used, check with your server administrator to see if there are any restrictions on memory usage. On UNIX, you can increase the amount of memory available to individual processes; how this is done varies, but try the limit command. On any platform, you can add more physical memory, or increase the amount of virtual memory, to let Sawmill have more memory to work with.

For additional installation-related troubleshooting tips, see the end of the Installation chapter, and the Troubleshooting section of the FAQ.

See Memory, Disk, and Time Usage for a discussion of memory usage, disk usage, processing time, and how they relate to each other.