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Old 11-02-2012, 12:20 AM   #1
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viewing logs


I'm connecting linux server through putty. I want to view few logs that were created yesterday in the log file. Since im using through putty i'm unable to view the exact log that was created by yesterday. I tried using head and tail command but as there are many lines in log files im unable to view the file that were created by yesterday. Could you please help me to view that file.
Old 11-02-2012, 12:54 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
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Hi there, and welcome to the forums.

Your request is a little sketchy on details. Which log file(s) specifically are you referring to?

Before we look at how to find messages for a particular date, remember that many (most?) log files on Linux are probably rotated regularly, typically when they reach a specific size. This means all the messages for a particular date may not be in a single file; they may be spread across 2 or more files. On my one machine for example the main /var/log/messages log file rotates every 2-3 days, and did so yesterday, so the messages for yesterday are spread across /var/log/messages-20121101.bz2 (the last archived & compressed file) and /var/log/messages (the current file).

Assuming the log files in question are written by the syslog deamon, each message should contain a date & time stamp. The actual format of the date may vary depending on your distro & localle, so check the file for examples. On my machine I can find yesterday's messages in the current log by running:
grep '^Nov  1' /var/log/messages | less
I can do the same for the previous (archived) file with:
zgrep '^Nov  1' /var/log/messages-20121101.bz2 | less
or combine the two with:
(bunzip2 -c /var/log/messages-20121101.bz2 ; cat /var/log/messages ) | grep '^Nov  1'| less
I hope this helps. Good luck!


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