How to learn to read logs?

Hi all! I got a casual question not a specific problem.

What is a good way (meaning fast/easy/intuitive etc) for somebody to start understanding logfiles?

I find myself time and again with any mishap big or small in my system, instantly opening KSystemlog, just to realise that I (still) have no idea what I am looking for or even how to read what there is in front of me.

Once or twice that I had spare time I just took a line and googled it, but I don’t recall much value as most results were about relevant problems and not its contents’ meaning.


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Hi, @Chuhtra,

you can get some useful informations.

Thanks to @cscs :+1:



see for theses commands

sudo systemctl --failed 
sudo journalctl -b0 ( -b -1 boot before , add -p4 ) 

see this

To pinpoint lines of interest, you can search for, filter, or highlight keywords such as:

  • Alert
  • Critical
  • Warning
  • Failed
  • Error

I use qjournaltcl and klogg-bin packages, both GUI apps, but any usefull log browser/reader provides such capabilities. Terminal works too.

Might be what you’re looking for:

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i am right there with you, trying to make sense of it all. Thanks for asking, will definitely follow up on links provided. Where I keep getting lost is I find ‘obsolete’ or ‘outdated’ information and have been going down the wrong rabbit holes. I get caught up too much in the weeds and have backed off to try and take the big (ger) picture route and focus on one thing at a time. I have been focusing on booting, hardware, and network. Good luck in your research!


Thanks for the suggestions guys, I will try to check them out as soon as possible :smiley: