How to access the runtime logs for droplet

I need to check the runtime logs for the ubuntu droplet, I tried to use the cli with doctl apps list but it returns an empty table, and I dont know the droplet id so I can’t do doclt logs <id>.

Thank you

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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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October 16, 2023

Hi there,

The doctl apps list command you tried before is for listing deployed apps on the DigitalOcean App Platform, which is a different service than Droplets. Hence, it didn’t show your Droplet details.

Here are the steps to access runtime logs for an Ubuntu Droplet:

  1. Find Your Droplet’s ID: First, list all your droplets to find the ID of the droplet you’re interested in.

    doctl compute droplet list

    This will show you a list of droplets along with their IDs, names, public IPs, etc. Locate your droplet in this list and note down its ID.

  2. SSH into Your Droplet: After identifying the Droplet ID and its associated IP, SSH into the droplet using the command:

    ssh root@YOUR_DROPLET_IP

    Replace YOUR_DROPLET_IP with the IP address of your droplet.

  3. Once you’re in the Droplet, it will depend on which logs you need to check but here are some general guidelines. You can check system logs using the journalctl command:


    If you’d like to view logs for a specific service, for example, nginx, you can use:

    journalctl -u nginx
  4. Other Useful Logs: Ubuntu stores logs in the /var/log/ directory. Some useful logs in this directory include:

    • /var/log/syslog: System log
    • /var/log/auth.log: Authentication logs
    • /var/log/apache2/: Apache web server logs (if you have Apache installed)
    • /var/log/nginx/: Nginx web server logs (if you have Nginx installed)

    To view these logs, you can use any text editor or utilities like cat, less, or tail. For instance:

    tail -f /var/log/syslog

    The above command will show the last few lines of the syslog and update in real-time.

  5. Exit Your Droplet: Once you’re done, simply type exit to leave the SSH session.

Hope that this helps!



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