I've set upstart log level to "debug"

sudo initctl log-priority debug

But I still cannot see anything in /var/log/syslog.

sudo initctl emit hello # no log
sudo initctl start my-broken-service # still no log

I've checked rsyslog config (in /etc/rsyslog.d/50-default.conf), and everything seems fine:

 *.*;auth,authpriv.none     -/var/log/syslog

Logging works

 logger hello # prints hello in /var/log/syslog

I'm running both an ubuntu 13.04 and a mint 16 and the result is the same.

I wanted to check upstart options in grub but I couldn't find a line in grub's config matching upstart.

Any idea?

Edit: This problem also occurs on Ubuntu 13.10. On Ubuntu 12.04, the log messages appear in /var/log/syslog. See this question on Ask Ubuntu.

  • I'm having the same problem with a Ubuntu 13.10 system. It works as expected on a Ubuntu 12.04 system. Here is another example of somebody who seems to be having the same problem. Apr 1, 2014 at 1:43
  • I found yet another instance of this problem on Ask Ubuntu, still with no answer or leads. I posted a new question consolidating the known information and linking to all of the extant questions I could find. Apr 1, 2014 at 2:18

2 Answers 2


I've posted an answer to Bradd's question on AskUbuntu: https://askubuntu.com/a/490900/297973. Long story short, you may need to add $KLogPermitNonKernelFacility on to rsyslogd's config.


The logs are stored in /var/log/dmesg. Use the command dmesg or tail /var/log/dmesg to view them.

  • 1
    On my 13.X systems, the messages did not appear anywhere in /var/log and other users have reported the same. Jun 2, 2014 at 22:13
  • Thanks to Matthew’s answer, I now understand what you were trying to get across here. Thanks for the help. Jul 3, 2014 at 21:39

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