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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for syslog (redhat section 2)

SYSLOG(2)			    Linux Programmer's Manual				SYSLOG(2)

       syslog, klogctl - read and/or clear kernel message ring buffer; set console_loglevel

       /* The glibc interface */
       #include <sys/klog.h>

       int klogctl(int type, char *bufp, int len);

       /* The handcrafted system call */
       #include <unistd.h>
       #include <linux/unistd.h>

       _syscall3(int, syslog, int, type, char *, bufp, int, len);

       int syslog(int type, char *bufp, int len);

       If  you	need  the  libc  function syslog(), (that talks to syslogd(8)), then look at sys-
       log(3).	The system call of this name is about controlling the kernel printk() buffer, and
       the glibc version is called klogctl().

       The type argument determines the action taken by this function.

       Quoting from kernel/printk.c:
	* Commands to sys_syslog:
	*      0 -- Close the log.  Currently a NOP.
	*      1 -- Open the log. Currently a NOP.
	*      2 -- Read from the log.
	*      3 -- Read up to the last 4k of messages in the ring buffer.
	*      4 -- Read and clear last 4k of messages in the ring buffer
	*      5 -- Clear ring buffer.
	*      6 -- Disable printk's to console
	*      7 -- Enable printk's to console
	*      8 -- Set level of messages printed to console

       Only function 3 is allowed to non-root processes.

       The kernel log buffer
       The  kernel  has  a  cyclic  buffer of length LOG_BUF_LEN (4096, since 1.3.54: 8192, since
       2.1.113: 16384) in which messages given as argument to the kernel  function  printk()  are
       stored (regardless of their loglevel).

       The call syslog (2,buf,len) waits until this kernel log buffer is nonempty, and then reads
       at most len bytes into the buffer buf. It returns the number of	bytes  read.  Bytes  read
       from  the  log disappear from the log buffer: the information can only be read once.  This
       is the function executed by the kernel when a user program reads /proc/kmsg.

       The call syslog (3,buf,len) will read the last len bytes from the log buffer  (nondestruc-
       tively),  but  will  not  read more than was written into the buffer since the last `clear
       ring buffer' command (which does not clear the buffer at all).  It returns the  number  of
       bytes read.

       The  call  syslog  (4,buf,len)  does precisely the same, but also executes the `clear ring
       buffer' command.

       The call syslog (5,dummy,idummy) only executes the `clear ring buffer' command.

       The loglevel
       The kernel routine printk() will only print a message on the console, if it has a loglevel
       less  than  the value of the variable console_loglevel (initially DEFAULT_CONSOLE_LOGLEVEL
       (7), but set to 10 if the kernel commandline contains the word `debug', and to 15 in  case
       of  a kernel fault - the 10 and 15 are just silly, and equivalent to 8).  This variable is
       set (to a value in the range 1-8) by the call syslog (8,dummy,value).   The  calls  syslog
       (type,dummy,idummy)  with type equal to 6 or 7, set it to 1 (kernel panics only) or 7 (all
       except debugging messages), respectively.

       Every text line in a message has its own loglevel. This level is  DEFAULT_MESSAGE_LOGLEVEL
       - 1 (6) unless the line starts with <d> where d is a digit in the range 1-7, in which case
       the level is d. The conventional meaning of the loglevel is defined in <linux/kernel.h> as

       #define KERN_EMERG    "<0>"  /* system is unusable		*/
       #define KERN_ALERT    "<1>"  /* action must be taken immediately */
       #define KERN_CRIT     "<2>"  /* critical conditions		*/
       #define KERN_ERR      "<3>"  /* error conditions 		*/
       #define KERN_WARNING  "<4>"  /* warning conditions		*/
       #define KERN_NOTICE   "<5>"  /* normal but significant condition */
       #define KERN_INFO     "<6>"  /* informational			*/
       #define KERN_DEBUG    "<7>"  /* debug-level messages		*/

       In  case  of error, -1 is returned, and errno is set. Otherwise, for type equal to 2, 3 or
       4, syslog() returns the number of bytes read, and otherwise 0.

       EPERM  An attempt was made to change console_loglevel or clear  the  kernel  message  ring
	      buffer by a process without root permissions.

       EINVAL Bad parameters.

	      System call was interrupted by a signal - nothing was read.  (This can be seen only
	      during a trace.)

       This system call is Linux specific and should not be used in programs intended to be  por-

       From  the very start people noted that it is unfortunate that kernel call and library rou-
       tine of the same name are entirely different animals.  In libc4 and libc5  the  number  of
       this call was defined by SYS_klog.  In glibc 2.0 the syscall is baptised klogctl.


Linux 1.2.9				    2001-11-25					SYSLOG(2)

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