How do I view the Linux system logs?

Nearly all Linux log files are located under the /var/log directory. You may view these log files using the text viewer or editor of your choice.

Command Line

From the command line, a common method for viewing the syslog message file is:

less /var/log/messages


View a step-by-step screencast of this process:

To view the system log files from the GUI interface:

  • Log into the GUI via any method (ie VNC, DRAC, physical console)
  • Navigate to System -> Administration -> System Log

Common Linux Logs

  • /var/log/message: general system log
  • /var/log/boot.log: boot log
  • /var/log/dmesg: kernel messages/log
  • /var/log/secure: authentication log
  • /var/log/cron: scheduled (cron) job log
  • /var/log/maillog: mail server log
  • /var/log/yum.log: software update log