One more, for the sake of the in 2012 ! :-)

I got this strange (French) Cubuntu distro of Ubuntu with Cinnamon, Unity, Gnome. It came pre-installed with the Taiwanese Clevo laptop I purchased recently so I kept it because I’ve done enough Linux installations to enjoy the challenge anymore. But with Linux,  something strange happens always, no matter how glittering the paper which was used to wrap it up.

At some point, the kernel was updated and some other updates came up. Good, now I can see all eight core temperatures of my mighty i7 !

canne@clevo:~$ sudo su -
root@clevo:/var/log# uname -a
Linux 3.5.0-18-generic #29-Ubuntu SMP Thu Oct 25 07:26:14 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Earlier I got a problem with SD card reader but it is known bug, which I fixed with the help of Realtek Card Reader RTL8411 Device 5289 (PCI 03:00.0) Driver and udisks Rule bug.Ok, with the new kernel I had to repeat the operation, not  a big deal. I wanted to see what happens when inserting a SD card and for that I said

tail -f /var/log/syslog

Wait, there is nothing but old messages in there and no new lines appears ?

I did some debugging:

initctrl stop rsyslogrsyslogd -c5 -f /etc/rsyslog.conf -N1

Says that “no such device as /dev/xconsole“. OK, edited /etc/rsyslog.d/50-default.conf and changed xconsole to console. No errors reported after that.

Still nothing in the log file but hey, it works in debug mode !

rsyslogd -c5 -d

Went to bed because who cares about system log, anyway. Well, my brains, to start with because they found the obvious reason while sleeping: the owner of the log files must be somebody else than root.root they told me first thing in the morning ! I tested it the following way to find out who is the rsyslogd anyway:

initrd stop rsyslog
  ( or pkill -9 rsyslogd if still running in debug mode )
logrotate /etc/logrotate.conf initrd start rsyslog


-rw-r----- 1 syslog            adm          16914 Dec 30 15:54 syslog
-rw-r--r-- 1 root              root       8709162 Dec 30 15:17 syslog.1

That’s it. From the above configuration file I deduced that I better change the owner (with chown syslog.adm <filename>) of

root@clevo:/var/log# ls -l | grep "1 syslog"
-rw-r--r-- 1 syslog            adm              0 Dec  6 11:39 auth.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 syslog            adm          10304 Dec 30 15:54 kern.log
-rw-r----- 1 syslog            adm          16914 Dec 30 15:54 syslog
-rw-r----- 1 syslog            adm              0 Dec 12 11:43 ufw.log

The moral of the story ? The log file rotation would have struck the first day of 2013  and I would not have even spotted that there is a problem ! Oh, why I am so curious about the inner life of these things ? Ignorance is a bliss !

BTW, Happy New Year 2013 – whatever is the box you are struggling with !