Juju logs

Logs in Juju are intended to be inspected with the juju debug-log command. This method provides logs on a per-model basis and is therefore more convenient than reading individual logs on multiple (Juju) machines directly on the file system. The latter can nonetheless be done in exceptional circumstances and some explanation is provided here.

See Juju high availability when viewing logs in an HA context.

See Remote logging for instructions on setting up a remote logging server for Juju.

Juju agents

One of the roles of the Juju agent, 'jujud', is to perform logging. There is one agent for every Juju machine and unit. For instance, for a machine with an id of '2', we see evidence of such agents:

juju ssh 2 ls -lh /var/lib/juju/agents

This example has the following output:

drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4.0K Apr 28 00:42 machine-2
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4.0K Apr 28 00:42 unit-nfs2-0

So there are 2 agents running on this Juju machine. One for the machine itself and one for a service unit.

The contents of one of these directories

juju ssh 2 ls -lh /var/lib/juju/agents/machine-2

reveals the agent's configuration file:

-rw------- 1 root root 2.1K Apr 28 00:42 agent.conf

Consider keeping backups of these files, especially prior to upgrading the agents. See Upgrading Juju software.

The debug-log command

The juju debug-log command shows the consolidated logs of all Juju agents (machines and units) running in a model. The juju switch command is used to change models. Alternatively, a model can be chosen with the '-m' option. The default model is the current model.

The 'controller' model captures logs related to internal management (controller activity) such as adding machines and services to the database. Whereas a hosted model will provide logs concerning activities that take place post- provisioning.

Due to the above, when deploying a service, it is normal for there to be an absence of logging in the hosted model since logging first takes place in the 'controller' model.

The output is a fixed number of existing log lines (number specified by possible options; the default is 10) and a stream of newly appended messages. Both existing lines and appended lines can be filtered by specifying options.

The exception to the streaming is when limiting the output (option '--limit'; see below) and that limit is attained. In all other cases the command will need to be interrupted with 'Ctrl-C' in order to regain the shell prompt.

For complete syntax, see the command reference page. The juju help debug-log command also provides reminders and more examples.


To begin with the last ten log messages:

juju debug-log

To begin with the last thirty log messages:

juju debug-log -n 30

To begin with all the log messages:

juju debug-log --replay

To begin with the last twenty log messages for the 'lxd-pilot' model:

juju debug-log -m lxd-pilot -n 20

To begin with the last 500 lines. The 'grep' utility is used as a text filter:

juju debug-log -n 500 | grep amd64

Advanced filtering

A Juju log line is written in this format:

<entity> <timestamp> <log-level> <module>:<line-no> <message>

The '--include' and '--exclude' options select and deselect, respectively, the entity that logged the message. An entity is a Juju machine or unit agent. The entity names are similar to the names shown by juju status.

Similarly, the '--include-module' and '--exclude-module' options can be used to influence the type of message displayed based on a (dotted) module name. The module name can be truncated.

A combination of machine and unit filtering uses a logical OR whereas a combination of module and machine/unit filtering uses a logical AND.

Log levels are cumulative; each lower level (more verbose) contains the preceding higher level (less verbose). The '--level' option restricts messages to the specified log-level or greater. The levels from lowest to highest are TRACE, DEBUG, INFO, WARNING, and ERROR.


To begin with the last 1000 lines and exclude messages from machine 3:

juju debug-log -n 1000 --exclude machine-3

To select all the messages emitted from a particular unit and a particular machine in the entire log:

juju debug-log --replay --include unit-mysql-0 --include machine-1

Note: The unit can also be written 'mysql/0' (as shown by juju status).

To see all WARNING and ERROR messages in the entire log:

juju debug-log --replay --level WARNING

To progressively exclude more content from the entire log:

juju debug-log --replay --exclude-module juju.state.apiserver
juju debug-log --replay --exclude-module juju.state
juju debug-log --replay --exclude-module juju

To begin with the last 2000 lines and include messages pertaining to both the juju.cmd and juju.worker modules:

juju debug-log --lines 2000 \
    --include-module juju.cmd \
    --include-module juju.worker

Log files

Log files are located on every machine Juju creates, including the controller. They reside under /var/log/juju and correspond to the machine and any units.

Using the example from a previous section:

juju ssh 2 ls -lh /var/log/juju


-rw------- 1 syslog syslog  22K Apr 28 00:42 machine-2.log
-rw------- 1 syslog syslog 345K Apr 28 16:58 unit-nfs2-0.log

There is one extra log file on each controller: logsink.log:

juju ssh -m controller 0 ls -lh /var/log/juju


-rw------- 1 syslog syslog 2.3M Apr 28 17:05 logsink.log
-rw------- 1 syslog syslog  85K Apr 28 17:03 machine-0.log

File logsink.log contains logs for all models managed by the controller. Its contents get sent to the database where it is consumed by the debug-log command.

Note: In a High availability scenario, logsink.log is not guaranteed to contain all messages since agents have a choice of several controllers to send their logs to. The debug-log command should be used for accessing consolidated data across all controllers.