Common log files

Almost all log files in Linux are located under /var/log/ directory and its sub-directories. Here is a description of some of the log files located under the /var/log/ directory:

  • /var/log/messages – global system messages.
  • /var/log/kern.log – the kernel messages.
  • /var/log/auth.log – system authorization information, including user logins and requests for privileged access.
  • /var/log/secure – authentication messages.
  • /var/log/cron – cron job activities.
  • /var/log/boot.log – messages generated during the boot.
  • /var/log/daemon.log – messages from processes running in the background.
  • /var/log/dpkg.log – records all dpkg activities.
  • /var/log/yum.log – records all yum activities.
  • /var/log/user.log – messages about all user level logs.
  • /var/log/Xorg.x.log – the X-windows system log file.
  • /var/log/cups – printer and printing related log messages.
  • /var/log/maillog or /var/log/mail.log – messages from sendmail.
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