journalctl may be used to query the contents of the systemd(1)
journal as written by systemd-journald.service(8).
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 "FIELD=VALUE", e.g.
"_SYSTEMD_UNIT=httpd.service", referring to the components of a
structured journal entry. See systemd.journal-fields(7) 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 "_EXE=" match for the
canonicalized binary path is added to the query. If a file path
refers to an executable script, a "_COMM=" 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 --boot, --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
--user, --system, --directory, and --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 "systemd-journal",
"adm", and "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
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 below.
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; other lines are displayed
The following options are understood:
--no-full, --full, -l
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 -l/--full are not useful anymore, except to undo
Show all fields in full, even if they include unprintable
characters or are very long.
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 an
explicit -n with some other numeric value, while -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 --lines=.
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
--since= and --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
is very similar, but shows ISO 8601 wallclock timestamps.
is very similar, but shows timestamps with full microsecond
is very similar, but shows monotonic timestamps instead of
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 JournalExport Format for more information). To import the binary
stream back into native journald format use
formats entries as JSON data structures, one per line (see
Journal JSON Format for more information).
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.
generates a very terse output, only showing the actual
message of each journal entry with no metadata, not even a
Express time in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Don't show the hostname field of log messages originating from
the local host. This switch only has an effect on the short
family of output modes (see above).
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 MessageCatalog Developer Documentation.
Note: when attaching journalctl output to bug reports, please do
not use -x.
Suppresses all info messages (i.e. "-- Logs begin at ...", "--
Reboot --"), any warning messages regarding inaccessible system
journals when run as a normal user.
Show entries interleaved from all available journals, including
-b [ID][±offset], --boot=[ID][±offset]
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
equal-or-less-than zero offset will look up boots starting from
the end of the journal. Thus, 1 means the first boot found in the
journal in chronological order, 2 the second and so on; while -0
is the last boot, -1 the boot before last, and so on. An empty
offset is equivalent to specifying -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 ID is 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.
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 identifier
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 the
unit ("_SYSTEMD_UNIT=UNIT"), along with additional matches for
messages from systemd and messages about coredumps for the
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 ("_SYSTEMD_USER_UNIT=" and
"_UID=") and additional matches for messages from session systemd
and messages about coredumps for the specified unit.
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/"emerg" and 7/"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 syslog(3), i.e. "emerg" (0),
"alert" (1), "crit" (2), "err" (3), "warning" (4), "notice" (5),
"info" (6), "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
Start showing entries from the location in the journal specified
by the passed cursor.
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.
-S, --since=, -U, --until=
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 "yesterday", "today", "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, respectively.
"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
Show messages from system services and the kernel (with
--system). Show messages from service of current user (with
--user). If neither is specified, show all messages that the user
Show messages from a running, local container. Specify a
container name to connect to.
-D DIR, --directory=DIR
Takes a directory path as argument. If specified, journalctl will
operate on the specified journal directory 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 files matching GLOB instead of
the default runtime and system journal paths. May be specified
multiple times, in which case files will be suitably interleaved.
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
ROOT/var/lib/systemd/catalog/database, and journal files under
ROOT/run/journal or ROOT/var/log/journal will be displayed).
Instead of showing journal contents, generate a new 128-bit ID
suitable for identifying messages. This is intended for usage by
developers who need a new identifier for a new message they
introduce and want to make recognizable. This will print the new
ID in four different formats which can be copied into source code
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.
--vacuum-size=, --vacuum-time=, --vacuum-files=
Removes archived journal files until the disk space they use
falls below the specified size (specified with the usual "K",
"M", "G" and "T" suffixes), or all archived journal files contain
no data older than the specified timespan (specified with the
usual "s", "m", "h", "days", "months", "weeks" and "years"
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 files. --vacuum-size=, --vacuum-time= and
--vacuum-files= 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.
List the contents of the message catalog as a table of message
IDs, plus their short description strings.
If any 128-bit-IDs are 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 .catalog files).
If any 128-bit-IDs are 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
journald.conf(5) for information on Forward Secure Sealing and
for a link to a refereed scholarly paper detailing the
cryptographic theory it is based on.
When --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 is verified.
Specifies the FSS verification key to use for the --verify
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
Asks the journal daemon to flush any log data stored in
/run/log/journal into /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 /run/log/journal into /var/log/journal once during
system runtime, and this command exits cleanly without executing
any operation if this has already happened. This command
effectively guarantees that all data is flushed to
/var/log/journal at the time it returns.
Asks the journal daemon to rotate journal files. This call does
not return until the rotation operation is complete.
Print a short help text and exit.
Print a short version string and exit.
Do not pipe output into a pager.
Pager to use when --no-pager is not given; overrides $PAGER. If
neither $SYSTEMD_PAGER nor $PAGER are set, a set of well-known
pager implementations are tried in turn, including less(1) and
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 "FRSXMK").
Override the charset passed to less (by default "utf-8", if the
invoking terminal is determined to be UTF-8 compatible).
Without arguments, all collected logs are shown unfiltered:
With one match specified, all entries with a field matching the
expression are shown:
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 processes):
journalctl _SYSTEMD_UNIT=avahi-daemon.service _PID=28097 + _SYSTEMD_UNIT=dbus.service
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 apache.service:
journalctl -f -u apache
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systemd 233 JOURNALCTL(1)