If I do systemctl --user status <myservice> I get the status of the service together with some recent log output. If I do journalctl --user -u <myservice> I get "No Journal files were found.". This applies to multiple user services. This does not apply to non-user/system services.

Debian sid.

2 Answers 2


You want journalctl --user-unit <myservice>.

The --user parameter to journalctl is a filter to restrict it to units running under the current user, but it still distinguishes between user and system units. I personally don't understand the design choice of why -u doesn't automatically select the user unit when --user is enabled, especially when it does so for systemctl, but there it is.

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    Now it doesn't say no files found, but it does say "No entries", because the log time is only the last ~30 minutes. Every so often the begin-end window will move forward. Apr 24, 2018 at 3:22

You may have to enable persistent storage, because per-user journals are not supported when storing logs in /run tmpfs. This is done with Storage=persistent in /etc/systemd/journald.conf.

If you’d prefer not to do that, the only alternative I know is to add your user to the systemd-journal group, or (in Debian and perhaps Ubuntu) the adm group.

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