I want to see the previous dmesg log before the reboot. In previous versions of fedora, It used to be in /var/log/messages. But from Fedora 20, it's being stored through systemd i.e. journalctl.

I've a directory /var/log/journal. It has many files and all of them having extension as .journal. I tried to open them with gedit. But couldn't succeed. I tried with notepad++. It's showing unreadable data as if a binary file. How to read them?


You are not supposed to read them. These are binary files. Only the tool "journalctl" with correct user permission can read them. Its a feature of "systemd". Any normal user can't read the system logs, unlike the traditional "syslog" system where any user can "cat" the "/var/log/messages" and see all the system logs.

  • 1
    Just a remark: Even in a 'traditional "syslog" system,' most log files in /var/log are normally only root-readable. Ubuntu is the only system I know of that has loosened these restrictions and allows non-root users read access to /var/log/syslog and probably /var/log/messages, for whatever reasons. – Dubu Jun 17 '15 at 9:16
  • The question isn't "should I" but "how do I." Your response would have been better left as a comment. – Stephan Jun 12 '19 at 2:01

Borrowed from this answer:

journalctl --file, e. g. journalctl --file /path/to/some/file.journal

As indicated in the other answer, these logs are regularly rotated, and may not stretch back as far as you might hope.

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