CONSOLE-LOG.CONF(5) Debian GNU/Linux CONSOLE-LOG.CONF(5)
console-log.conf - Main configuration file for console-log
console-log keeps logfile pagers open on virtual consoles. /etc/console-log.conf is the
configuration file controlling which log file is opened on which tty.
Empty lines and lines starting with "#" are ignored.
The rest of the file consists of stanzas consisting of lines formed as a single keyword
and multiple values. Each stanza describes one pager being started. Stanzas are separated
with blank lines. Other keywords preceded by $ are interpolated if the other keyword is
set in the same stanza _before_ the current line.
tty is the number of the tty the log pager should be started on. Choose a tty that has a
virtual console. This is a mandatory setting.
If chvt is yes, the system's console will be switched to the tty of this stanza on
startup. Default is no.
is a list of absolute paths to log files to display. The first file that is either a
plain file or a symlink is displayed. The file name must not contain any spaces. This
is a mandatory setting.
If user and/or group is/are given, uid/gid will be changed to the given values before
invoking the log pager. User needs to be in group in /etc/group. If no user is given,
the pager will be run as the default user/group set at build time.
If the file to be paged exceeds the configured size, no pager is started to avoid
memory overflow. Value given in bytes. Default is 7000000. Additionally, ulimit -v is
set to twice this value.
is the absolute path to a bash shell script that will be sourced before the pager is
being started. The script will receive the file path as a parameter and can set
environment variables that can influence the pager.
is the actual program that will be invoked to display the file. Currently less is the
only pager supported and is therefore also the default. It gets invoked with secure
settings and follow mode activated. If you want to use a different pager, you need to
manually adapt /usr/share/console-log/logpager. Please submit patches that extend
logpager's support for other pagers via the BTS.
The default config file
file /var/log/exim4/mainlog /var/log/exim/mainlog /var/log/mail.log
will start one log pager for the first file found from /var/log/exim4/mainlog,
/var/log/exim/mainlog and /var/log/mail.log, and one log pager for /var/log/syslog, and
will chvt to tty9.
If a file cannot be read by the user specified in the config file, the init script will
complain. You can either change the log file permissions or put the user account in the
appropriate group. For example, if /var/log/exim/mainlog is only readable by group mail,
you can either change the log file group to adm (make sure to adapt the log file
creation/rotation process as well), run the pager as a user that can access the log file,
or else put the user account into group mail. Making the file readable for the default
account is the preferred way to solve this issue since it introduces the least security
All configuration options are exported and therefore handed down to the logpager script.
You can use this to configure your pager. For example, the logpager script set LESSSECURE
to the value of the less_lessecure configuration option and LESS to the value off the
less_opts configuration option.
This mechanism can be used in any pager extension called from the logpager script.
For configuring the less pager, the following options are implemented:
controls the value of the LESSSECURE environment variable for the less process.
Default is 1
controls the value of the LESS environment variable for the less process. Default is
"--LONG-PROMPT --chop-long-lines --jump-target=10 --max-forw-scroll=100 --window=-4".
If you want your pager to automatically re-read the file after possible log rotation
(#111272), you might want to add --follow-name to this default. --follow-name might
get added to the default in later version.
controls the value of the LESSKEY environment variable for the less process. Default
is /usr/lib/console-log/lesskey, which does not exist in the package currently, and
LESSKEY is only set if less_lesskey points to an existing file.
controls the value of the TERM environment variable for the less process. Default is
If you fancy a different pager, please by all means extend the logpager script to support
your pager by adding an appropriate part to the case "$PAGER" part of the script. If you
want your pager to be configurable via console_log.conf, the convention is to prefix your
pager's configuration variables with the name of your pager, e.g. mypager_mycooloption.
Make sure to also make the init script unset each variable that gets used in your logpager
patch inside the do_from_config function, or a variable set in a previous console-log.conf
stanza will also be set in all following ones until you set a different value.
Please consider submitting your patch for inclusion in the package via the Debian BTS.
Many. Be prepared to debug.
This manpage was written by Marc Haber for console-log in Debian/GNU Operating System.
Thanks to Ivan Frederiks for pointing me towards less --follow-name.
console-log 2016-06-22 CONSOLE-LOG.CONF(5)