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#1 2020-09-04 21:18:05

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 415  

[Solved] System log questions

Just working an a new PC with Beowulf and Cinnamon as desktop.

Got gnome-system-log installed, and do not like it. It just shows syslog, auth and 2 other uninteresting logs. From my Mate desktops with mate-system-log I am used to see the complete contents of /var/log. Well, tried to install mate-system-log on the Cinnamon system, and failed. Error: package mate-system-log can't be found.

A closer look showed that on my Mate systems I have an application in /usr/bin/mate-system-log, but I have no idea to which package this application belongs to. Searching in dpkg.log did not help. Search in Synaptic with all available options also did not help. Looked at the files that belong to Mate-desktop-environment*..., no trace of the mate-system-log.

How can I find out in which package this application is hidden?

Thanks, rolfie

Last edited by rolfie (2020-09-05 17:49:36)

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#2 2020-09-05 02:29:44

ralph.ronnquist
Administrator
From: Clifton Hill, Victoria, AUS
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 465  

Re: [Solved] System log questions

The first point of call for that would be

$ dpkg -S bin/mate-system-log

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#3 2020-09-05 10:07:28

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,064  
Website

Re: [Solved] System log questions

Alternative method:

apt-file search mate-system-log

Or enter the program name into the search box at https://www.debian.org/distrib/packages#search_contents

EDIT: https://wiki.debian.org/WhereIsIt

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2020-09-05 11:04:47)


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#4 2020-09-05 11:23:26

Marjorie
Member
From: Teignmouth, UK
Registered: 2019-06-09
Posts: 89  

Re: [Solved] System log questions

gnome-system-log can be used to browse all your log files: they're just not shown in the sidebar by default.

Click on the settings icon ('cog in box', third from right at the top) and then select the first option 'open', this will then show you the whole of the /var/log/ directory and you can select whichever log file you want to browse. Once opened the log file is added to the list of files in the side panel.

Nevertheless I still personally prefer to use the cli-based log browser lnav e.g.

 sudo lnav /var/log/syslog

as it provides colour emphasis in the logs, you can use a wildcard to browse the merged logrotated set of files e.g.

 sudo lnav /var/log/syslog*

  and I find its regex filtering is a bit more intuitive to use than gnome-system-log's.

Last edited by Marjorie (2020-09-05 11:28:12)

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#5 2020-09-05 17:49:18

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 415  

Re: [Solved] System log questions

Thank you for your feedback. Got a solution that serves me well.

On my Mate box:

# dpkg -S bin/mate-system-log
mate-utils: /usr/bin/mate-system-log
# apt-file search mate-system-log
bash: apt-file: Kommando nicht gefunden.

After some research I learned that apt-file isn't installed by default. Well, dpkg did the job, I didn't care to install that package.

Installed mate-utils and saw that a lot of superflous stuff is installed. I can confirm mate-system-log works with Cinnamon (with a suitable policy), and I saw the usual list of logs I had under Mate desktop.

But finally removed the package again after successfully trying Marjories hint. I was looking in the left menu for a configuration option, and missed the open in the cog in box, thats not really intuitive. That setup works for me, finally got the list I want. Though I saw a side effect: every second Open opened my home instead of /var/log. Is that something special on my box or a bug?

Have a nice evening, rolfie

Note: looks like the package search in Debian is more powerful than the one in Devuan. I need to remember next time.

Last edited by rolfie (2020-09-05 19:29:20)

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#6 2020-09-05 18:38:29

Marjorie
Member
From: Teignmouth, UK
Registered: 2019-06-09
Posts: 89  

Re: [Solved] System log questions

Rolfie, on my box selecting open reverts the sidebar to show my home but the main pane still shows what's in /var/log/. You can then still open another log by double-clicking on it in the main pane, and the updated list of those you have opened reappears in the side pane.
It is all very olde-worlde gnome as I remember it though.
No doubt the newer systemd alternative is slicker - though I gather the binary blob they have made of logs is apparently more fragile if things crash.

Last edited by Marjorie (2020-09-05 18:39:06)

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#7 2020-09-05 19:52:14

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,064  
Website

Re: [Solved] System log questions

Marjorie wrote:

the binary blob they have made of logs is apparently more fragile if things crash

The logs may be binary but they are not "blobs" — they can be read with strings(1).


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#8 2020-09-05 21:28:24

Marjorie
Member
From: Teignmouth, UK
Registered: 2019-06-09
Posts: 89  

Re: [Solved] System log questions

OK, 'blob' is the wrong technical term: clearly they must be decodable or they'd be no use as logs, but seemingly when they get corrupted, say in a crash, you can easily lose the information you need to understand what's gone wrong.

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