Android logger

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Here is some information on the Android logger:


General system-wide logging is supported by a kernel device driver call 'logger'. The code for the driver is in 'drivers/staging/android/logger.c' in recent android versions but in 'drivers/misc/logger.c' in older versions and in 'drivers/android/logger.c' in old ones

The code supports 4 logging buffers, named "main", "events", "radio", and "system" for different types of events.

Driver Features

Log reading and writing is done via normal Linux file reads and writes.

The write path is optimized, so that an open(), write(), close() sequence can occur very quickly, to avoid logging having too much overhead in the system.


From user-space, a normal 'read' operation is used to read an entry from the log. Each read() returns one log entry, or blocks waiting for the next entry. The device can be opened in non-blocking mode.

At least LOGGER_ENTRY_MAX_LEN (4096) should be used as the amount of data to read from the log on a read request.


The system performs writes to the log. The driver saves the pid, tgid and timestamp for each log entry. It appears that the level, tag and message are provided by user-space.


The following ioctl's are supported, which pretty much do what you would expect:

  • LOGGER_GET_LOG_BUF_SIZE - returns the size of the entire log buffer
  • LOGGER_GET_LOG_LEN - returns the amount of data in the log
  • LOGGER_GET_NEXT_ENTRY_LEN - returns size of next log entry
  • LOGGER_FLUSH_LOG - clears the log of data

Device Nodes

The driver is activated when a user-space program opens a device node with the appropriate major and minor number.

These nodes are located in /dev/log, as shown below:

# ls -l /dev/log
crw-rw--w-    1 0        1007      10,  50 Nov  5 02:00 events
crw-rw--w-    1 0        1007      10,  51 Nov  5 02:00 main
crw-rw--w-    1 0        1007      10,  49 Nov  5 02:00 radio

/dev/log/system was added in Feb, 2010

Android Logging System

See Android Logging System for information about the complete android logging system, including tools which access this driver.