How do I view log files on Linux?

  • KM02733561
  • 14-Feb-2017
  • 14-Feb-2017

Archived Content: This information is no longer maintained and is provided "as is" for your convenience.


external sites Locate and view Linux log files.


Almost all logfiles are located under /var/log directory and its sub-directories on Linux. You can change to this directory using the cd command. You need be the root user to view or access log files on Linux or Unix like operating systems. You can use the following commands to see the log files:

less command
more command
cat command
grep command
tail command
zcat command
zgrep command
zmore command

How do I view log files on Linux?

Common Linux log files names and usage
/var/log/messages : General message and system related stuff
/var/log/auth.log : Authenication logs
/var/log/kern.log : Kernel logs
/var/log/cron.log : Crond logs (cron job)
/var/log/maillog : Mail server logs
/var/log/qmail/ : Qmail log directory (more files inside this directory)
/var/log/httpd/ : Apache access and error logs directory
/var/log/lighttpd/ : Lighttpd access and error logs directory
/var/log/boot.log : System boot log
/var/log/mysqld.log : MySQL database server log file
/var/log/secure or /var/log/auth.log : Authentication log
/var/log/utmp or /var/log/wtmp : Login records file
/var/log/yum.log : Yum command log file.