Systemd::Journal Gem Version Build Status Code Climate

Ruby bindings for reading from the systemd journal.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'systemd-journal', '~> 1.3'

And then execute:

bundle install

If you have trust issues, fear not:

wget[email protected]
gem cert --add [email protected]

You can then verify the signature at install time with either gem or bundler:

gem install systemd-journal -P HighSecurity
bundle install --trust-policy HighSecurity


Obviously you will need to have systemd installed on your system (specifically libsystemd or the older libsystemd-journal) in order to use the gem. Currently we support systemd 208 or higher.


require 'systemd/journal'

Print all messages as they occur:

j =

# watch() does not return do |entry|
  puts entry.message

Filter events and iterate:

j =

# only display entries from SSHD with priority 6.
j.filter(priority: 6, _exe: '/usr/bin/sshd')
j.each do |entry|
  puts entry.message

Moving around the journal:

j =   # move to the start of journal
j.move(10)      # move forward by 10 entries
c = j.cursor    # get a reference to this entry
j.move(-5)      # move back 5 entries       # move to the saved cursor
j.cursor?(c)    # verify that we're at the correct entry   # move past the end of the journal
j.move_previous # move to last entry in journal
j.move_next     # move forward (fails since we're at the end)

j.current_entry # get the entry we're currently positioned at

# seek the entry that occured closest to this time'2013-10-31T12:00:00+04:00:00'))

Waiting for things to happen:

j =
# wait up to one second for something to happen
if j.wait(1_000_000)
  puts 'something changed!'
# same as above, but can be interrupted with Control+C.
if j.wait(1_000_000, select: true)
  puts 'something changed!'

Accessing the catalog:

j =
j.move_next until j.current_entry.catalog?

puts j.current_entry.catalog
# or if you have a message id:
puts Systemd::Journal.catalog_for(j.current_entry.message_id)

Writing to the journal:

# write a simple message
Systemd::Journal.print(Systemd::Journal::LOG_INFO, 'Something happened')

# write custom fields
  message: 'Something bad happened',
  priority: Systemd::Journal::LOG_ERR,
  my_custom_field: 'foo was nil!'

See the documentation for more examples.


I get 'Cannot assign requested address' when trying to read an entry!

After calling one of the below, the Journal read pointer might not point at a valid entry:


The solution is to always call one of move, move_next, move_previous and friends before reading after issuing one of the above calls. For most functions, call move_next. For seek(:tail), call move_previous.


This gem has been tested primarily on MRI and Arch Linux running systemd version 208 and up. Please let me know if you have issues with other versions or distributions.

The gem will run under JRuby, although some features which rely on native file descriptor support will not work.

If you run into problems or have questions, please open an Issue or Pull Request.

Pull Requests

  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch
  3. Commit your changes
  4. Push to the branch
  5. Create new Pull Request, targeting the master branch.
  6. Wipe hands on pants, you're done!