Linux dmesg command

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

About dmesg

dmesg examines or controls the kernel ring buffer.

The kernel ring buffer is a data structure that records messages related to the operation of the kernel. A ring buffer is a special kind of buffer that is always a constant size, removing the oldest messages when new messages come in.

dmesg syntax

dmesg [options]


-C, --clear

Clear the ring buffer.

-c, --read-clear

Clear the ring buffer contents after printing.

-D, --console-off

Disable printing messages to the console.

-d, --show-delta

Display the timestamp and time delta spent between messages. If used with --notime then only the time delta without the timestamp is printed.

-E, --console-on

Enable printing messages to the console.

-f, --facility list

Restrict output to defined (comma separated) list of facilities. For all supported facilities see --help output.

-h, --help

Print a help text and exit.

-k, --kernel

Print kernel messages.

-l, --level list

Restrict output to defined (comma separated) list of levels. For all supported levels see --help output.

-n, --console-level level

Set the level at which messages are logged to the console. The level is a level number or abbreviation of the level name. For example, -n 1 or -n alert prevents all messages except emergency (panic) messages from appearing on the console. All levels of messages are still written to /proc/kmsg, so syslogd(8) can still be used to control exactly where kernel messages appear. When the -n option is used, dmesg will not print or clear the kernel ring buffer. For all supported levels see --help output.

-r, --raw

Print the raw message buffer, i.e., don't strip the log level prefixes.

-s, --buffer-size size

Use a buffer of size to query the kernel ring buffer. This is 16392 by default. If you have set the kernel buffer to be larger than the default then this option can be used to view the entire buffer.

-T, --ctime

Print human readable timestamps. The timestamp could be inaccurate; The time source used for the logs is not updated after system SUSPEND/RESUME.

-t, --notime

Don't print kernel's timestamps.

-u, --userspace

Print userspace messages.

-V, --version

Output version information and exit.

-x, --decode

Decode facility and level (priority) number to human readable prefixes.

The default action of dmesg is to read all messages from kernel ring buffer.

dmesg examples

dmesg > kernel_msgs.txt

Output all kernel messages currently in the ring buffer to a file called kernel_msgs.txt.

dmesg | grep -i memory

Display only those kernel messages which relate to memory usage.

sysklogd — Linux system logging utilities.