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


How do I access the Linux GUI via VNC?

VNC is a remote desktop protocol similar to Microsoft Windows Terminal Services or RDP. The server must be powered on and running Linux for VNC to operate.

First, you must have a VNC viewer application for your PC, Mac or mobile device. In this example, we’ll be using the free RealVNC viewer.

Launch the viewer and enter your server’s IP address, followed by “:1” to signify the VNC service listening on the first available port and press Connect:


When prompted, select Continue:


When prompted, enter your VNC password:


You will now be at the GUI desktop. When you are finished, just close the VNC window to end your session.

How do I access the Linux GUI via the DRAC?

The Dell Remote Access Card (DRAC) contains full-featured remote console access that offers full remote KVM and media access to the server, regardless of its power state.

  • Open a web browser and navigate to the DRAC’s IP address, which is different from the Linux server’s LAN IP address
  • The default log in username is root, with a password of calvin
  • Select Console and Launch Viewer