systemd-journald(8) Journal service

Other Alias

systemd-journald.service, systemd-journald.socket






systemd-journald is a system service that collects and stores logging data. It creates and maintains structured, indexed journals based on logging information that is received from the kernel, from user processes via the libc syslog(3) call, from STDOUT/STDERR of system services or via its native API. It will implicitly collect numerous meta data fields for each log messages in a secure and unfakeable way. See systemd.journal-fields(7) for more information about the collected meta data.

Log data collected by the journal is primarily text based but can also include binary data where necessary. All objects stored in the journal can be up to 2^64-1 bytes in size.

By default the journal stores log data in /run/log/journal/. Since /run/ is volatile log data is lost at reboot. To make the data persistent it is sufficient to create /var/log/journal/ where systemd-journald will then store the data.

systemd-journald will forward all received log messages to the AF_UNIX SOCK_DGRAM socket /run/systemd/journal/syslog (if it exists) which may be used by UNIX syslog daemons to process the data further.

See journald.conf(5) for information about the configuration of this service.



Request that journal data from /run/ is flushed to /var/ in order to make it persistent (if this is enabled). This must be used after /var/ is mounted, as otherwise log data from /run is never flushed to /var regardless of the configuration.


Request immediate rotation of the journal files.


A few configuration parameters from journald.conf may be overridden on the kernel command line:

systemd.journald.forward_to_syslog=, systemd.journald.forward_to_kmsg=, systemd.journald.forward_to_console=

Enables/disables forwarding of collected log messages to syslog, the kernel log buffer or the system console.

See journald.conf(5) for information about these settings.


Journal files are by default owned and readable by the systemd-journal system group (but not writable). Adding a user to this group thus enables her/him to read the journal files.

By default, each logged in user will get her/his own set of journal files in /var/log/journal/. These files will not be owned by the user however, in order to avoid that the user can write to them directly. Instead, file system ACLs are used to ensure the user gets read access only.

Additional users and groups may be granted access to journal files via file system access control lists (ACL). Distributions and administrators may choose to grant read access to all members of the wheel and adm system groups with a command such as the following:

# setfacl -Rnm g:wheel:rx,d:g:wheel:rx,g:adm:rx,d:g:adm:rx /var/log/journal/

Note that this command will update the ACLs both for existing journal files and for future journal files created in the /var/log/journal/ directory.