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Logging on ChromeOS

Syslog Logs (managed by rsyslog)

Services write the logs into files using syslog similar to Linux. Applications can call the syslog APIs which writes the messages into the syslog socket (/dev/log). The syslog daemon (rsyslogd) receives the message and the daemon writes it to the file.


System logs are collected by rsyslog daemon from applications and stored in /var/log/. The rule of destinations is defined in the configuration files.

Logs defined in rsyslog.chromeos:

Logs defined in rsyslog.arc.conf:

Logs defined in rsyslog.hammerd.conf:

Logs defined in rsyslog.secagentd.conf:

Creating a new log file

Note: These steps must be done concurrently or it will not work correctly.

Create a tmpfiles.d config file.

Add the new log file to sepolicy.

Create a rsyslog config file.


We are using a custom format for ChromeOS system log. It has microsec precision and a time zone depending on the system setting.

Example of format:

2020-03-10T14:02:08.470152+09:00 INFO processname[12345]: This is the log message.

The format is defined in rsyslog.chromeos.

Journald Deprecation

Jounald is deprecated and is about to be removed. Journal log has a storage and CPU overheads and it’s not suitable for, at-least, ChromeOS devices. Journal log has multiple non-important fields and has multiple wide (64 or 128bit) integers for IDs. These metadata consumes storage in devices. And journald has a dedup future which saves storage for the same value entries. But in ChromeOS use-case, we don’t have much duplicated entries and dedup needs CPU time to look up a duplicated previous entry. The impact is not ignorable especially for low-end devices. So we have decided to remove journald from ChromeOS until these problems are addressed .

Log Rotation

Major log files are rotated by chromeos-cleanup-logs script, which rotates logs every 24 hours and keeps 7 histories. Add your log path to kLogsToRotate, for it to be rotated.

Chrome logs are rotated by itself (to be more specific, a new log file is generated when every process starts). And old logs are removed by chromeos-cleanup-logs script.

User Feedback Reports

To include log files in the User Feedback Reports add your filepath to kVarLogFileLogs. To manually limit the size of your logs use kCommand with tail.

Logs from Chrome processes

See the chrome side document: Chrome Logging on ChromeOS