Linux log files location and how do I view logs files?

Go to /var/logs directory:# cd /var/logsView common log file /var/log/messages using any one of the following command:# tail -f /var/log/messages

# less /var/log/messages
# more -f /var/log/messages
# vi /var/log/messages

Jul 17 22:04:25 router  dnsprobe[276]: dns query failed
Jul 17 22:04:29 router last message repeated 2 times
Jul 17 22:04:29 router  dnsprobe[276]: Primary DNS server Is Down... Switching To Secondary DNS server
Jul 17 22:05:08 router  dnsprobe[276]: Switching Back To Primary DNS server
Jul 17 22:26:11 debian -- MARK --
Jul 17 22:46:11 debian -- MARK --
Jul 17 22:47:36 router  -- MARK --
Jul 17 22:47:36 router  dnsprobe[276]: dns query failed
Jul 17 22:47:38  debian kernel: rtc: lost some interrupts at 1024Hz.
Jun 17 22:47:39  debian kernel: IN=eth0 OUT= MAC=00:0f:ea:91:04:07:00:08:5c:00:00:01:08:00 SRC= DST= LEN=60 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=46 ID=21599 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=59297 DPT=22 WINDOW=5840 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0

Common Linux log files name and usage

  • /var/log/message: General message and system related stuff
  • /var/log/auth.log: Authenication logs
  • /var/log/kern.log: Kernel logs
  • /var/log/cron.log: Crond logs (cron job)
  • /var/log/maillog: Mail server logs
  • /var/log/qmail/ : Qmail log directory (more files inside this directory)
  • /var/log/httpd/: Apache access and error logs directory
  • /var/log/lighttpd: Lighttpd access and error logs directory
  • /var/log/boot.log : System boot log
  • /var/log/mysqld.log: MySQL database server log file
  • /var/log/secure: Authentication log
  • /var/log/utmp or /var/log/wtmp : Login records file
  • /var/log/yum.log: Yum log files

In short /var/log is the location where you should find all Linux logs file. However some applications such as httpd have a directory within /var/log/ for their own log files. You can rotate log file using logrotate software and monitor logs files using logwatch software.


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