Is there possibility of having time-stamps in the .xsession-errors file as errors are logged but time-stamps are unfortunately not there. If anybody knows of any move towards it, would be nice to know. Also if such a feature-request were to be asked, where should one file it upstream, at x.org or somewhere else ?

  • What value would timestamps add? What can you not do because the current entries lack timestamps? You would break my .xsession-errors analysis tools.
    – waltinator
    Oct 21, 2016 at 1:16
  • 1
    fwiw, on modern setups that use systemd everything logs to journal where you have timestamps and what not; .xsession-errors doesn't even exist anymore. Oct 21, 2016 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


/etc/X11/Xsession redirects the standard output and standard error streams of your whole X session directly into .xsession-errors by the equivalent of

exec >>.xsession-errors 2>&1

then proceeds with starting your session. The last step of that is executing your .xsession if you have one. Install the devscripts package to get annotate-output, then create a .xsession like

annotate-output x-session-manager

(use whatever fits you in place of x-session-manager). Make this script executable, and restart your X session.

  • Would there be a way to let this script automatically each time you eneter the X session ???
    – shirish
    Dec 31, 2021 at 20:55
  • @shirish This answer describes a permanent solution. It effects all further X sessions until the whole startup mechanism is replaced by some large scale change in your setup. Jan 1, 2022 at 9:17

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