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In what way is this systemctl message misleading?

asked 2015-06-29 14:24:49 -0500

Ken Stailey gravatar image

updated 2015-06-30 10:14:23 -0500

On Friday June 20, 2012 Lennart committed an update to the systemd TODO file stating:

systemctl: "Journal has been rotated since unit was started." message is misleading

Can anybody explain what he meant by that?


If I run journalctl | head -n 1 it gives me the time range of the journal.

-- Logs begin at ...

If I run systemctl status -- -.mount | tail -n 1 it prints the "misleading message".

Warning: Journal has been rotated since unit was started...

Using sudo makes no difference.

But the journalctl time range starts prior to the time of the root file system mount. So is this the misleading part, that the logs are available but the message claims they are not?

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That's an excellent question, and I wish I knew the answer. I've asked on a mailing list for Fedora support, and will let you know what, if anything, I learn about it.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2015-06-29 14:40:07 -0500 )edit

I searched for days before posting here. I could try asking him via E-mail or Google Plus but I thought I try a forum first just in case anyone knows.

Ken Stailey gravatar imageKen Stailey ( 2015-06-29 14:43:17 -0500 )edit

There's something we've been missing here: that post is from 2012, and the comment is probably out-of-date by now.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2015-06-29 17:22:23 -0500 )edit

Comment about message being misleading still exists in TODO in git HEAD now.

Ken Stailey gravatar imageKen Stailey ( 2015-06-30 09:21:25 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-06-29 14:50:29 -0500

NuuN gravatar image

updated 2015-06-29 15:05:44 -0500

From my understanding of log rotation, logs are compressed and stored away after reaching a set size or time limit; fresh logging is started. (See )

Systemd's journald is a continuously recording binary system. There is no rotating to be done. You will always have access to the oldest logs as long as the set limits are not passed. (/usr/bin/man 8 systemd-journald)

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Thank you. Do you know if the oldest parts of the journal get archived, or are they just nuked? (I can see logical reasons for either.)

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2015-06-29 15:08:30 -0500 )edit

I don't know. I would think they are nuked to save space. Journald already archives and compresses. When the disk size limit is reached, it deletes starting with the oldest entry, according to, man 5 journald.conf.

NuuN gravatar imageNuuN ( 2015-06-29 15:48:56 -0500 )edit

Thank you for your contribution, however the question was about how a certain systemctl message is misleading not about general log rotation procedures.

Ken Stailey gravatar imageKen Stailey ( 2015-06-30 09:23:47 -0500 )edit

I see. So, the journals are separated then? Which means the feedback for .mount unit files are not tied to any other logs?

NuuN gravatar imageNuuN ( 2015-06-30 10:56:56 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2015-06-29 14:24:49 -0500

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Last updated: Jun 30 '15