"MARK" entries in /var/log/messages

Sundar Nagarajan sundar.personal at gmail.com
Fri Oct 6 17:33:25 BST 2006


D. R. Evans wrote:
> When I look in /var/log/messages, I see a ton of lines that look like this:
> 
> Oct  4 18:37:27 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 18:57:28 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 19:17:28 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 19:37:28 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 19:57:28 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 20:17:29 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 20:37:29 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 20:57:29 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 21:17:29 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 21:37:30 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 21:57:30 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 22:17:30 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 22:37:30 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 22:57:31 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 23:17:31 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 23:37:31 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  4 23:57:31 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  5 00:17:32 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  5 00:37:32 homebrew -- MARK --
> Oct  5 00:57:32 homebrew -- MARK --
> 
> What is causing these? They form by far the majority of the messages
> in /var/log/messages, and they seem singularly useless.
> 

It is caused by syslog marking a timestamp regularly. The default 
setting is to mark the timestamp every 20 mins. Quoting from 'man syslogd':
<quote>
        -m interval
               The syslogd logs a mark timestamp regularly.  The default 
interval  between  two  --  MARK -- lines is 20 minutes.  This can be
changed with this option.  Setting the interval to zero turns it off 
entirely.
</quote>

If you want to disable this entirely, look for the file named 
/etc/init.d/sysklogd (note the 'k'; it is sysklogd and not syslogd). 
Towards the top of the file look for a line that says:

SYSLOGD="-u syslog"

and change it to:

SYSLOGD="-m 0 -u syslog"

and restart syslogd using:

/etc/init.d/sysklogd restart




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