0
> journalctl
-b: -c: line 0: unexpected EOF while looking for matching `"'
-b: -c: line 1: syntax error: unexpected end of file
> systemctl status docker.service
-b: -c: line 0: unexpected EOF while looking for matching `"'
-b: -c: line 1: syntax error: unexpected end of file

https://clbin.com/0CNIZ <- Link to strace of journalctl

I'll update the question if there is need for other information.

I've restarted the pc. Deleted the logs and it still fails. Not sure what to try next.

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  • Are you absolutely sure you've removed all the data from /var/log/journal ? – Artem S. Tashkinov Aug 19 '20 at 13:43
  • I did journalctl --rotate and then journalctl --vacuum-time=1s. According to unix.stackexchange.com/a/457902/54544 – plitter Aug 19 '20 at 13:51
  • Please simply run this command and reboot: sudo /bin/rm /var/log/journal/*/* if logs are not important for you. – Artem S. Tashkinov Aug 19 '20 at 14:10
  • 1
    Looks like your user systemctl is not system-wide systemctl. What's the output of which systemctl? – Artem S. Tashkinov Aug 19 '20 at 15:04
  • 1
    Great, you have something in your $HOME which breaks journalctl. I've no idea what it could be but presumably something which your shell executes automatically, e.g. .bashrc or .bash_profile or something like that It's up to you to untangle the mess :-) – Artem S. Tashkinov Aug 19 '20 at 15:43
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Thanks to @Artem I've found that my issue is that I set my PAGER variable to be export PAGER="/usr/bin/bash -c \"col -b -x | vim -R -c 'set ft=man nolist laststatus=0' -c 'map q :q<cr>' - \"". The smallest reproducible case is export PAGER="/usr/bin/bash -c 'vim -R -'".

The solution that I went with is putting this in a script (that I called pager.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

col -b -x | vim -R -c 'set ft=man nolist laststatus=0' -c 'map q :q<cr>' - 

And did export PAGER=pager.

The issue might be that systemd doesn't interpret PAGER properly.

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