blob: 2dde24ca7d9f679a77b376c2a37f860e30a564c8 [file] [log] [blame]
.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
Message logging with printk
printk() is one of the most widely known functions in the Linux kernel. It's the
standard tool we have for printing messages and usually the most basic way of
tracing and debugging. If you're familiar with printf(3) you can tell printk()
is based on it, although it has some functional differences:
- printk() messages can specify a log level.
- the format string, while largely compatible with C99, doesn't follow the
exact same specification. It has some extensions and a few limitations
(no ``%n`` or floating point conversion specifiers). See :ref:`How to get
printk format specifiers right <printk-specifiers>`.
All printk() messages are printed to the kernel log buffer, which is a ring
buffer exported to userspace through /dev/kmsg. The usual way to read it is
using ``dmesg``.
printk() is typically used like this::
printk(KERN_INFO "Message: %s\n", arg);
where ``KERN_INFO`` is the log level (note that it's concatenated to the format
string, the log level is not a separate argument). The available log levels are:
| Name | String | Alias function |
| KERN_EMERG | "0" | pr_emerg() |
| KERN_ALERT | "1" | pr_alert() |
| KERN_CRIT | "2" | pr_crit() |
| KERN_ERR | "3" | pr_err() |
| KERN_WARNING | "4" | pr_warn() |
| KERN_NOTICE | "5" | pr_notice() |
| KERN_INFO | "6" | pr_info() |
| KERN_DEBUG | "7" | pr_debug() and pr_devel() if DEBUG is defined |
| KERN_DEFAULT | "" | |
| KERN_CONT | "c" | pr_cont() |
The log level specifies the importance of a message. The kernel decides whether
to show the message immediately (printing it to the current console) depending
on its log level and the current *console_loglevel* (a kernel variable). If the
message priority is higher (lower log level value) than the *console_loglevel*
the message will be printed to the console.
If the log level is omitted, the message is printed with ``KERN_DEFAULT``
You can check the current *console_loglevel* with::
$ cat /proc/sys/kernel/printk
4 4 1 7
The result shows the *current*, *default*, *minimum* and *boot-time-default* log
To change the current console_loglevel simply write the desired level to
``/proc/sys/kernel/printk``. For example, to print all messages to the console::
# echo 8 > /proc/sys/kernel/printk
Another way, using ``dmesg``::
# dmesg -n 5
sets the console_loglevel to print KERN_WARNING (4) or more severe messages to
console. See ``dmesg(1)`` for more information.
As an alternative to printk() you can use the ``pr_*()`` aliases for
logging. This family of macros embed the log level in the macro names. For
pr_info("Info message no. %d\n", msg_num);
prints a ``KERN_INFO`` message.
Besides being more concise than the equivalent printk() calls, they can use a
common definition for the format string through the pr_fmt() macro. For
instance, defining this at the top of a source file (before any ``#include``
#define pr_fmt(fmt) "%s:%s: " fmt, KBUILD_MODNAME, __func__
would prefix every pr_*() message in that file with the module and function name
that originated the message.
For debugging purposes there are also two conditionally-compiled macros:
pr_debug() and pr_devel(), which are compiled-out unless ``DEBUG`` (or
also ``CONFIG_DYNAMIC_DEBUG`` in the case of pr_debug()) is defined.
Function reference
.. kernel-doc:: include/linux/printk.h
:functions: printk pr_emerg pr_alert pr_crit pr_err pr_warn pr_notice pr_info
pr_fmt pr_debug pr_devel pr_cont