Debian / Ubuntu Record Boot Messages

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Once the userspace boot messages are gone from the console in Debian, they’re gone forever. How do I log all messages sent to the /dev/console device to a logfile under Debian Linux sever?

You need to use the bootlogd to record boot messages to a file called /var/log/boot. However, this is turned off by default. Edit /etc/default/bootlogd, enter:
# vi /etc/default/bootlogd
To run bootlogd at startup set it as follows:


After reboot you can see message in /var/log/boot:
# tail -f /var/log/boot
# egrep -iw 'word1|err|warn' /var/log/boot


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

5 comment

  1. Thanks for the nice post ,

    dj you are right regarding Ubuntu , i have tried the above method but it did not work for me (I am using ubuntu 9.10) but unfortunately i have just noticed your comment after applying the above method ……………………..

  2. Thanks for this post. Unfortunately I’m getting what seems to be some strange character muddling in the log, always at the end of each line, about the last one third. Is there any way to specify a charset for the log or some other solution?

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