/dev/log is the default entry for system logging. In the case of a sytemd implementation (this case) it's a symlink to whatever /run/systemd/journal/dev-log. It used to be a receiving end of a unix socket handled by syslog daemon.

~$ echo "hello" > /dev/log 
bash: /dev/log: No such device or address
~$ fuser /dev/log
~$ ls -la /dev/log 
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 28 Aug 23 07:13 /dev/log -> /run/systemd/journal/dev-log

What is the clarification of the error that pops when you try to write to it and why isn't there a process holding that file (output from fuser /dev/log empty?

The logging does work normally on the system.

~$ logger test
~$ journalctl --since=-1m
-- Logs begin at Thu 2018-05-24 04:23:46 CEST, end at Thu 2018-08-23 13:07:25 CEST. --
Aug 23 13:07:24 alan-N551JM alan[12962]: test

Extending with comment suggestions

~$ sudo fuser /dev/log 
/run/systemd/journal/dev-log:     1   311
~$ ls -lL /dev/log
srw-rw-rw- 1 root root 0 Aug 23 07:13 /dev/log
  • @RuiFRibeiro Updated to make it clearer that the examples are from a systemd implementation. – TheMeaningfulEngineer Aug 23 '18 at 10:58
  • what happens when you run logger "test"? Please add to the question. – Rui F Ribeiro Aug 23 '18 at 10:59
  • 1
    Please, add to your question the output of sudo fuser /dev/log and ls -lL /dev/log – andcoz Aug 23 '18 at 11:51
  • @andcoz Bravo, the fuser was a permission issue. Would of have totally missed that due to the silence. – TheMeaningfulEngineer Aug 23 '18 at 12:02
  • Related: How can I communicate with a Unix domain socket via the shell. You need to use something that uses connect rather than open. – Mark Plotnick Aug 23 '18 at 19:22

I am summarizing the comments to a complete answer. Note that @MarkPlotnick was the first to point toward the right solution.

As you can see in ls -lL output, the file pointed by you link is a socket, non a regular file or a pipe.

~$ ls -lL /dev/log
srw-rw-rw- 1 root root 0 Aug 23 07:13 /dev/log

Look at the first character of the output. That s means that the file is a socket.

You cannot use the redirection mechanism > of bash (or, AFIK, any other shell) to write in a socket because the shell will try to open the file and open does not support sockets. See man open for details.

You have to use a program that connects to a socket. See man connect for details.

As an example, you can use netcat or socat (see How can I communicate with a Unix domain socket via the shell on Debian Squeeze?).

For sake of completeness, you can use the redirection on pipes.

~$ mkfifo /tmp/fifo
~$ ls -l /tmp/fifo
prw-rw-rw- 1 root root 0 27 ago 15.04 /tmp/fifo
~$ echo "hello" > /tmp/fifo

Look at the first character of the ls output. That p means that the file is a pipe.

  • 1
    Please also extend with your answer on why no processes were detected having a handle on the socked. – TheMeaningfulEngineer Aug 28 '18 at 10:24

You should verify /run/systemd/journal/dev-log, its permissions and who's using it. You were checking a link.

  • That doesn't influence the results in any way. I mention it as being a link also in the question. – TheMeaningfulEngineer Aug 23 '18 at 10:49
  • That's strange. It would be interesting to know your distro. On CentOS 7, /dev/log is a socket, used by the /usr/lib/systemd/systemd-journald process. – Gerard H. Pille Aug 23 '18 at 11:08
  • I find it hard to believe that "fuser /run/systemd/journal/dev-log" would show nothing. – Gerard H. Pille Aug 23 '18 at 11:16
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review – Jeff Schaller Aug 23 '18 at 12:17
  • @JeffSchaller Better have a look at the edited question. You'll find I did provide the answer. – Gerard H. Pille Aug 23 '18 at 13:10

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