journalctl — Query the systemd journal
journalctl [OPTIONS...] [MATCHES...]
If called without parameters, it will show the full contents of the journal, starting with the oldest entry collected.
If one or more match arguments are passed, the output is
filtered accordingly. A match is in the format
to the components of a structured journal entry. See
for a list of well-known fields. If multiple matches are
specified matching different fields, the log entries are
filtered by both, i.e. the resulting output will show only
entries matching all the specified matches of this kind. If two
matches apply to the same field, then they are automatically
matched as alternatives, i.e. the resulting output will show
entries matching any of the specified matches for the same
field. Finally, the character "
+" may appear
as a separate word between other terms on the command line. This
causes all matches before and after to be combined in a
disjunction (i.e. logical OR).
It is also possible to filter the entries by specifying an
absolute file path as an argument. The file path may be a file or
a symbolic link and the file must exist at the time of the query. If a
file path refers to an executable binary, an "
match for the canonicalized binary path is added to the query. If a
file path refers to an executable script, a "
match for the script name is added to the query. If a file path
refers to a device node, "
_KERNEL_DEVICE=" matches for
the kernel name of the device and for each of its ancestor devices is
added to the query. Symbolic links are dereferenced, kernel names are
synthesized, and parent devices are identified from the environment at
the time of the query. In general, a device node is the best proxy for
an actual device, as log entries do not usually contain fields that
identify an actual device. For the resulting log entries to be correct
for the actual device, the relevant parts of the environment at the time
the entry was logged, in particular the actual device corresponding to
the device node, must have been the same as those at the time of the
query. Because device nodes generally change their corresponding devices
across reboots, specifying a device node path causes the resulting
entries to be restricted to those from the current boot.
Additional constraints may be added using options
--unit=, etc., to
further limit what entries will be shown (logical AND).
Output is interleaved from all accessible journal files, whether they are rotated or currently being written, and regardless of whether they belong to the system itself or are accessible user journals.
The set of journal files which will be used can be
modified using the
--file options, see below.
All users are granted access to their private per-user
journals. However, by default, only root and users who are
members of a few special groups are granted access to the system
journal and the journals of other users. Members of the groups
wheel" can read all journal files. Note
that the two latter groups traditionally have additional
privileges specified by the distribution. Members of the
wheel" group can often perform administrative
The output is paged through less by
default, and long lines are "truncated" to screen width. The
hidden part can be viewed by using the left-arrow and
right-arrow keys. Paging can be disabled; see the
--no-pager option and the "Environment" section
When outputting to a tty, lines are colored according to priority: lines of level ERROR and higher are colored red; lines of level NOTICE and higher are highlighted; lines of level DEBUG are colored lighter grey; other lines are displayed normally.
The following options are understood:
Ellipsize fields when they do not fit in available columns. The default is to show full fields, allowing them to wrap or be truncated by the pager, if one is used.
The old options
--full are not useful
anymore, except to undo
Show all fields in full, even if they include unprintable characters or are very long. By default, fields with unprintable characters are abbreviated as "blob data". (Note that the pager may escape unprintable characters again.)
Show only the most recent journal entries, and continuously print new entries as they are appended to the journal.
Immediately jump to the end of the journal
inside the implied pager tool. This implies
-n1000 to guarantee that the pager will not
buffer logs of unbounded size. This may be overridden with
-n with some other numeric
-nall will disable this cap.
Note that this option is only supported for the
Show the most recent journal events and
limit the number of events shown. If
--follow is used, this option is
implied. The argument is a positive integer or
all" to disable line limiting. The default
value is 10 if no argument is given.
Show all stored output lines, even in follow
mode. Undoes the effect of
Reverse output so that the newest entries are displayed first.
Controls the formatting of the journal entries that are shown. Takes one of the following options:
is the default and generates an output that is mostly identical to the formatting of classic syslog files, showing one line per journal entry.
is very similar, but shows timestamps in the format the
--until= options accept. Unlike the timestamp information shown in
short output mode this mode includes weekday, year and timezone information in the
output, and is locale-independent.
is very similar, but shows ISO 8601 wallclock timestamps.
short-iso but includes full
is very similar, but shows classic syslog timestamps with full microsecond precision.
is very similar, but shows monotonic timestamps instead of wallclock timestamps.
is very similar, but shows seconds passed since January 1st 1970 UTC instead of wallclock timestamps ("UNIX time"). The time is shown with microsecond accuracy.
shows the full-structured entry items with all fields.
serializes the journal into a binary (but mostly text-based) stream suitable for backups and network transfer (see Journal Export Format for more information). To import the binary stream back into native journald format use systemd-journal-remote(8).
formats entries as JSON objects, separated by newline characters (see Journal JSON Format for more information). Field values are generally encoded as JSON strings, with three exceptions:
Fields larger than 4096 bytes are encoded as
null values. (This
may be turned off by passing
--all, but be aware that this may allocate overly long
Journal entries permit non-unique fields within the same log entry. JSON does not allow non-unique fields within objects. Due to this, if a non-unique field is encountered a JSON array is used as field value, listing all field values as elements.
Fields containing non-printable or non-UTF8 bytes are encoded as arrays containing the raw bytes individually formatted as unsigned numbers.
Note that this encoding is reversible (with the exception of the size limit).
formats entries as JSON data structures, but formats them in multiple lines in order to make them more readable by humans.
formats entries as JSON data structures, but wraps them in a format suitable for Server-Sent Events.
formats entries as JSON data structures, but prefixes them with an ASCII Record Separator
generates a very terse output, only showing the actual message of each journal entry
with no metadata, not even a timestamp. If combined with the
--output-fields= option will output the listed fields for each log record,
instead of the message.
similar to short-full, but prefixes the unit and user unit names instead of the traditional syslog identifier. Useful when using templated instances, as it will include the arguments in the unit names.
A comma separated list of the fields which should be included in the output. This has
an effect only for the output modes which would normally show all fields (
json-seq), as well as on
cat. For the
former, the "
__MONOTONIC_TIMESTAMP", and "
_BOOT_ID" fields are always
Express time in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Don't show the hostname field of log messages originating from the local host. This
switch has an effect only on the
short family of output modes (see above).
Note: this option does not remove occurrences of the hostname from log entries themselves, so it does not prevent the hostname from being visible in the logs.
Augment log lines with explanation texts from the message catalog. This will add explanatory help texts to log messages in the output where this is available. These short help texts will explain the context of an error or log event, possible solutions, as well as pointers to support forums, developer documentation, and any other relevant manuals. Note that help texts are not available for all messages, but only for selected ones. For more information on the message catalog, please refer to the Message Catalog Developer Documentation.
Note: when attaching journalctl
output to bug reports, please do not use
Suppresses all informational messages (i.e. "-- Journal begins at …", "-- Reboot --"), any warning messages regarding inaccessible system journals when run as a normal user.
Show entries interleaved from all available journals, including remote ones.
Show messages from a specific boot. This will
add a match for "
The argument may be empty, in which case logs for the current boot will be shown.
If the boot ID is omitted, a positive
offset will look up the boots
starting from the beginning of the journal, and an
look up boots starting from the end of the journal. Thus,
1 means the first boot found in the
journal in chronological order,
second and so on; while
-0 is the last
-1 the boot before last, and so
on. An empty
offset is equivalent
-0, except when the current
boot is not the last boot (e.g. because
--directory was specified to look at logs
from a different machine).
If the 32-character
specified, it may optionally be followed by
offset which identifies the boot
relative to the one given by boot
ID. Negative values mean earlier
boots and positive values mean later boots. If
offset is not specified, a value of
zero is assumed, and the logs for the boot given by
ID are shown.
The special argument
all can be
used to negate the effect of an earlier use of
Show a tabular list of boot numbers (relative to the current boot), their IDs, and the timestamps of the first and last message pertaining to the boot.
Show only kernel messages. This implies
-b and adds the match
Show messages for the specified syslog
This parameter can be specified multiple times.
Show messages for the specified systemd unit
UNIT (such as a service unit), or
for any of the units matched by
PATTERN. If a pattern is
specified, a list of unit names found in the journal is
compared with the specified pattern and all that match are
used. For each unit name, a match is added for messages from
along with additional matches for messages from systemd and
messages about coredumps for the specified unit. A match
is also added for "
such that if the provided
UNIT is a
unit, all logs of children of the slice will be shown.
This parameter can be specified multiple times.
Show messages for the specified user session
unit. This will add a match for messages from the unit
_UID=") and additional matches for messages
from session systemd and messages about coredumps for the
specified unit. A match
is also added for "
such that if the provided
UNIT is a
unit, all logs of children of the unit will be shown.
This parameter can be specified multiple times.
Filter output by message priorities or
priority ranges. Takes either a single numeric or textual log
level (i.e. between 0/"
debug"), or a range of numeric/text log
levels in the form FROM..TO. The log levels are the usual
syslog log levels as documented in
alert" (1), "
err" (3), "
notice" (5), "
debug" (7). If a single log level is
specified, all messages with this log level or a lower (hence
more important) log level are shown. If a range is specified,
all messages within the range are shown, including both the
start and the end value of the range. This will add
PRIORITY=" matches for the specified
Filter output by syslog facility. Takes a comma-separated list of numbers or facility
names. The names are the usual syslog facilities as documented in
--facility=help may be used to display a list of known facility names and exit.
Filter output to entries where the
field matches the specified regular expression. PERL-compatible regular expressions
are used, see
for a detailed description of the syntax.
If the pattern is all lowercase, matching is case insensitive.
Otherwise, matching is case sensitive. This can be overridden with the
--case-sensitive option, see below.
Make pattern matching case sensitive or case insensitive.
Start showing entries from the location in the journal specified by the passed cursor.
FILE exists and contains a
cursor, start showing entries after this location.
Otherwise the show entries according the other given options. At the end,
write the cursor of the last entry to
this option to continually read the journal by sequentially calling
Start showing entries from the location in the
journal after the location specified by
the passed cursor. The cursor is shown when the
--show-cursor option is used.
The cursor is shown after the last entry after two dashes:
-- cursor: s=0639…
The format of the cursor is private and subject to change.
Start showing entries on or newer than the specified date, or on or older than the specified
date, respectively. Date specifications should be of the format "
2012-10-30 18:17:16". If the
time part is omitted, "
00:00:00" is assumed. If only the seconds component is omitted,
:00" is assumed. If the date component is omitted, the current day is assumed. Alternatively
the strings "
tomorrow" are understood,
which refer to 00:00:00 of the day before the current day, the current day, or the day after the current day,
now" refers to the current time. Finally, relative times may be specified,
prefixed with "
-" or "
+", referring to times before or after the current
time, respectively. For complete time and date specification, see
systemd.time(7). Note that
--output=short-full prints timestamps that follow precisely this format.
Print all possible data values the specified field can take in all entries of the journal.
Print all field names currently used in all entries of the journal.
Show messages from system services and the
--system). Show messages from
service of current user (with
neither is specified, show all messages that the user can see.
Show messages from a running, local container. Specify a container name to connect to.
Takes a directory path as argument. If
specified, journalctl will operate on the specified journal
DIR instead of the
default runtime and system journal paths.
Takes a file glob as an argument. If
specified, journalctl will operate on the specified journal
GLOB instead of the
default runtime and system journal paths. May be specified
multiple times, in which case files will be suitably
Takes a directory path as an argument. If specified, journalctl
will operate on journal directories and catalog file hierarchy underneath the specified directory
instead of the root directory (e.g.
--update-catalog will create
, and journal
will be displayed).
Takes a path to a disk image file or block device node. If specified,
journalctl will operate on the file system in the indicated disk image. This is
--root= but operates on file systems stored in disk images or block
devices, thus providing an easy way to extract log data from disk images. The disk image should
either contain just a file system or a set of file systems within a GPT partition table, following
the Discoverable Partitions
Specification. For further information on supported disk images, see
switch of the same name.
Takes a journal namespace identifier string as argument. If not specified the data
collected by the default namespace is shown. If specified shows the log data of the specified
namespace instead. If the namespace is specified as "
*" data from all namespaces is
shown, interleaved. If the namespace identifier is prefixed with "
+" data from the
specified namespace and the default namespace is shown, interleaved, but no other. For details about
journal namespaces see
Instead of showing journal contents, show internal header information of the journal fields accessed.
Shows the current disk usage of all journal files. This shows the sum of the disk usage of all archived and active journal files.
Removes the oldest archived journal files until the disk space they use falls below the
specified size (specified with the usual "
T" suffixes), or all archived journal files contain no data older than the specified timespan
(specified with the usual "
weeks" and "
suffixes), or no more than the specified number of separate journal files remain. Note that running
--vacuum-size= has only an indirect effect on the output shown by
--disk-usage, as the latter includes active journal files, while the vacuuming operation only
operates on archived journal files. Similarly,
--vacuum-files= might not actually reduce the
number of journal files to below the specified number, as it will not remove active journal
may be combined in a single invocation to enforce any combination of a size, a time and a number of files limit
on the archived journal files. Specifying any of these three parameters as zero is equivalent to not enforcing
the specific limit, and is thus redundant.
These three switches may also be combined with
--rotate into one command. If so, all
active files are rotated first, and the requested vacuuming operation is executed right after. The rotation has
the effect that all currently active files are archived (and potentially new, empty journal files opened as
replacement), and hence the vacuuming operation has the greatest effect as it can take all log data written so
far into account.
List the contents of the message catalog as a table of message IDs, plus their short description strings.
specified, only those entries are shown.
Show the contents of the message catalog, with
entries separated by a line consisting of two dashes and the
ID (the format is the same as
specified, only those entries are shown.
Update the message catalog index. This command needs to be executed each time new catalog files are installed, removed, or updated to rebuild the binary catalog index.
Instead of showing journal contents, generate
a new key pair for Forward Secure Sealing (FSS). This will
generate a sealing key and a verification key. The sealing key
is stored in the journal data directory and shall remain on
the host. The verification key should be stored
externally. Refer to the
Seal= option in
for information on Forward Secure Sealing and for a link to a
refereed scholarly paper detailing the cryptographic theory it
is based on.
--setup-keys is passed
and Forward Secure Sealing (FSS) has already been configured,
recreate FSS keys.
Specifies the change interval for the sealing
key when generating an FSS key pair with
--setup-keys. Shorter intervals increase CPU
consumption but shorten the time range of undetectable journal
alterations. Defaults to 15min.
Check the journal file for internal
consistency. If the file has been generated with FSS enabled and
the FSS verification key has been specified with
--verify-key=, authenticity of the journal file
Specifies the FSS verification key to use for
Asks the journal daemon to write all yet unwritten journal data to the backing file system and synchronize all journals. This call does not return until the synchronization operation is complete. This command guarantees that any log messages written before its invocation are safely stored on disk at the time it returns.
Asks the journal daemon to flush any log data stored in
/var/log/journal/, if persistent
storage is enabled. This call does not return until the operation is complete. Note that this call is
idempotent: the data is only flushed from
/var/log/journal/ once during system runtime (but see
--relinquish-var below), and this command exits cleanly without executing any
operation if this has already happened. This command effectively guarantees that all data is flushed
/var/log/journal/ at the time it returns.
Asks the journal daemon for the reverse operation to
requested the daemon will write further log data to
/run/log/journal/ and stops
/var/log/journal/. A subsequent call to
causes the log output to switch back to
--relinquish-var but executes no operation if the root file
/var/lib/journal/ reside on the same mount point. This operation is
used during system shutdown in order to make the journal daemon stop writing data to
/var/log/journal/ in case that directory is located on a mount point that needs
to be unmounted.
Asks the journal daemon to rotate journal files. This call does not return until the rotation
operation is complete. Journal file rotation has the effect that all currently active journal files are marked
as archived and renamed, so that they are never written to in future. New (empty) journal files are then
created in their place. This operation may be combined with
--vacuum-file= into a single command, see
Do not pipe output into a pager.
On success, 0 is returned; otherwise, a non-zero failure code is returned.
Pager to use when
--no-pager is not given; overrides
$PAGER. If neither
$PAGER are set, a
set of well-known pager implementations are tried in turn, including
more(1), until one is found. If
no pager implementation is discovered no pager is invoked. Setting this environment variable to an empty string
or the value "
cat" is equivalent to passing
Override the options passed to less (by default
Users might want to change two options in particular:
See less(1) for more discussion.
Override the charset passed to less (by default "
the invoking terminal is determined to be UTF-8 compatible).
Takes a boolean argument. When true, the "secure" mode of the pager is enabled; if
false, disabled. If
$SYSTEMD_PAGERSECURE is not set at all, secure mode is enabled
if the effective UID is not the same as the owner of the login session, see geteuid(2) and
In secure mode,
LESSSECURE=1 will be set when invoking the pager, and the pager shall
disable commands that open or create new files or start new subprocesses. When
$SYSTEMD_PAGERSECURE is not set at all, pagers which are not known to implement
secure mode will not be used. (Currently only
Note: when commands are invoked with elevated privileges, for example under sudo(8) or
must be taken to ensure that unintended interactive features are not enabled. "Secure" mode for the
pager may be enabled automatically as describe above. Setting
or not removing it from the inherited environment allows the user to invoke arbitrary commands. Note
that if the
$PAGER variables are to be
$SYSTEMD_PAGERSECURE must be set too. It might be reasonable to completely
disable the pager using
Takes a boolean argument. When true, systemd and related utilities
will use colors in their output, otherwise the output will be monochrome. Additionally, the variable can
take one of the following special values: "
256" to restrict the use
of colors to the base 16 or 256 ANSI colors, respectively. This can be specified to override the automatic
decision based on
$TERM and what the console is connected to.
The value must be a boolean. Controls whether clickable links should be generated in
the output for terminal emulators supporting this. This can be specified to override the decision that
systemd makes based on
$TERM and other conditions.
Without arguments, all collected logs are shown unfiltered:
With one match specified, all entries with a field matching the expression are shown:
journalctl _SYSTEMD_UNIT=avahi-daemon.service journalctl _SYSTEMD_CGROUP=/user.slice/user-42.slice/session-c1.scope
If two different fields are matched, only entries matching both expressions at the same time are shown:
journalctl _SYSTEMD_UNIT=avahi-daemon.service _PID=28097
If two matches refer to the same field, all entries matching either expression are shown:
journalctl _SYSTEMD_UNIT=avahi-daemon.service _SYSTEMD_UNIT=dbus.service
If the separator "
+" is used, two
expressions may be combined in a logical OR. The following will
show all messages from the Avahi service process with the PID
28097 plus all messages from the D-Bus service (from any of its
journalctl _SYSTEMD_UNIT=avahi-daemon.service _PID=28097 + _SYSTEMD_UNIT=dbus.service
To show all fields emitted by a unit and about
the unit, option
--unit= should be used.
expands to a complex filter similar to
name.service + UNIT=
name.service _PID=1 + OBJECT_SYSTEMD_UNIT=
name.service _UID=0 + COREDUMP_UNIT=
name.service _UID=0 MESSAGE_ID=fc2e22bc6ee647b6b90729ab34a250b1
(see systemd.journal-fields(7) for an explanation of those patterns).
Show all logs generated by the D-Bus executable:
Show all kernel logs from previous boot:
journalctl -k -b -1
Show a live log display from a system service
journalctl -f -u apache