From Fedora Project Wiki

systemd Message Catalog


Logging is essential for finding and tracking down system problems. Just finding and tracking them down however is seldom enough to actually get them fixed. With Journal Message Catalogs we want to link helpful meta information directly to many log messages applications generate, keyed off an ID identifying the type of message. This localized meta information can help the user to fix the problem, refer him to additional documentation, or even inform him where to get further help.


Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 19
  • Last updated: 2012-01-17
  • Percentage of completion: 100%

Detailed Description

Log messages frequently are terse and hence cryptic. Log messages are usually in the english language which is foreign to most people in this world.

With message catalogs applications generating log messages can link up these messages with "Message Catalog" entries via a globally unique ID that identifies the type of message. The Message Catalog contains localized additional information about the terse log message, such as more comprehensive explanations, hints to solve the problem, links to further information, and possible support information, where the user/administrator can ask for more help.

For details see the upstream documentation.

This feature is only about providing the basic building blocks for Message Catalogs, and hooking up systemd itself with it, so that many of systemd's own log messages come with message catalog information. It is out of scope of this feature to patch other software to provide message IDs and message catalog entries, but we'd certainly welcome that.

Benefit to Fedora

Fedora becomes easier to navigate as help for common problems can be linked up directly with the error messages.


Only needs changes in systemd upstream.

How To Test

Type "journalctl -x" and you should see in-line explanations for selected messages.

User Experience

Using "journalctl -x" now shows explanations for a number of log messages.


Would be cool if not only systemd would attach message identifiers to its log messages and ship message catalogs, but if systemd does it we already achieved a lot.

Contingency Plan

Nothing. This just provides additional meta information for log messages that are irrelevant for general control flow


Release Notes

It should be enough to just announce availability of this feature, plus a paste from the Summary section of this feature page, plus maybe a reference to the the docs for this.

Comments and Discussion