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Journalctl Reference

List Journal Entries from Boot

  • List logs from current boot
$ journalctl -b
  • List logs from past boots
$ journalctl --list-boots
$ journalctl -b <boot-id>
# example
$ journalctl -b -1

List Logs Based on Time

$ journalctl --since "2022-02-04 12:40:49”
$ journalctl --since "2015-06-26 23:15:00" --until "2015-06-26 23:20:00"
$ journalctl --since "yesterday"
$ journalctl --since 10:10 --until "1 hour ago"

List Logs Based on Service Unit

  • Check logs from a single service
$ journalctl -u <service-name.service>
# example
$ journalctl -u nginx.service --since today
  • Check interleaved records from multiple units
$ journalctl -u nginx.service -u php-fpm.service --since today
  • Following logs of services
$ journalctl -fu <service-name.service>
  • List last n entries from the logs
$ journalctl -n <number-of-entries>

Journalctl Storage

  • Check existing disk usage
$ journalctl --disk-usage
  • Delete old logs
$ sudo journalctl --vacuum-size=1G
$ sudo journalctl --vacuum-time=1years
  • Keep logs persistent
$ sudo nano /etc/systemd/journald.conf
  • Limit journal storage

You can set the storage limits in "/etc/systemd/journald.conf" by setting values to the following entries [1]

  • SystemMaxUse=: Specifies the maximum disk space that can be used by the journal in persistent storage.
  • SystemKeepFree=: Specifies the amount of space that the journal should leave free when adding journal entries to persistent storage.
  • SystemMaxFileSize=: Controls how large individual journal files can grow to in persistent storage before being rotated.
  • RuntimeMaxUse=: Specifies the maximum disk space that can be used in volatile storage (within the /run filesystem).
  • RuntimeKeepFree=: Specifies the amount of space to be set aside for other uses when writing data to volatile storage (within the /run filesystem). RuntimeMaxFileSize=: Specifies the amount of space that an individual journal file can take up in volatile storage (within the /run filesystem) before being rotated.