I am running kernel 4.1.15, sometimes in /var/log/messages i am getting series of ^@ characters. Normally the content is ok in /var/log/messages it is just for once for few seconds i got these junk characters. Any idea why?

  • 1
    i get this kind of things when i experience unexpected reboots or strange behavior of the machines, most often caused by hardware error
    – magor
    Apr 4, 2017 at 17:27
  • What are you using to view the file (cat, less, more, head, vi, ...)? "once for a few seconds" -- what does that mean? You ran cat /var/log/messages several times in a row, and then after X seconds the issue stopped happening? What is writing to the file (syslog-ng, rsyslog, ...)? Do you have anything like logrotate rotating it out? If so what's the configuration?
    – phemmer
    Apr 4, 2017 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


That is the ASCII code for the Null Character

It shouldn't be an actual issue with logging. I would guess it is an issue with whatever program is outputting to /var/log/messages.

Some terminal emulator programs won't output character sequences correctly due to character encoding. Make sure you're using one (or connected with one) that matches your locale, such as UTF-8.

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