Agent Check Agent Check

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Systemd-journald is a system service that collects and stores logging data. It creates and maintains structured, indexed journals based on logging information from a variety of sources.



The journald check is included in the Datadog Agent package. No additional installation is needed on your server.


Journal files are, by default, owned and readable by the systemd-journal system group. To start collecting your journal logs, you need to:

  1. Install the Agent on the instance running the journal.
  2. Add the dd-agent user to the systemd-journal group by running:
     usermod -a -G systemd-journal dd-agent

To configure this check for an Agent running on a host:

Edit the journald.d/conf.yaml file, in the conf.d/ folder at the root of your Agent’s configuration directory to start collecting logs.

Log collection

Collecting logs is disabled by default in the Datadog Agent, you need to enable it in the datadog.yaml with:

logs_enabled: true

Then add this configuration block to your journald.d/conf.yaml file to start collecting your Logs:

    - type: journald
      container_mode: true

To fill source and service attributes, the Agent collects SYSLOG_IDENTIFIER , _SYSTEMD_UNIT and _COMMand set them to the first non empty value. To take advantage of the integration pipelines, Datadog recommends setting the SyslogIdentifier parameter in the systemd service file directly, or in a systemd service override file. Their location depends on your distribution, but you can find the location of the systemd service file by using the command systemctl show -p FragmentPath <unit_name>.

Note: With Agent 7.17+, if container_mode is set to true, the default behavior changes for logs coming from Docker containers. The source attribute of your logs is automatically set to the corresponding short image name of the container instead of simply docker.

Restart the Agent.

For containerized environments, see the Autodiscovery Integration Templates for guidance on applying the parameters below.

Log collection

Collecting logs is disabled by default in the Datadog Agent. To enable it, see Kubernetes log collection documentation.

<LOG_CONFIG>{"source": "journald", "service": "<YOUR_APP_NAME>"}

Advanced features

Change journal location

By default the Agent looks for the journal at the following locations:

  • /var/log/journal
  • /run/log/journal

If your journal is located elsewhere, add a path parameter with the corresponding journal path.

Filter journal units

It’s possible to filter in and out specific units by using these parameters:

  • include_units: Includes all units specified.
  • exclude_units: Excludes all units specified.


    - type: journald
      path: /var/log/journal/
          - docker.service
          - sshd.service
Collect container tags

Tags are critical for finding information in highly dynamic containerized environments, which is why the Agent can collect container tags in journald logs.

This works automatically when the Agent is running from the host. If you are using the containerized version of the Datadog Agent, mount your journal path and the following file:

  • /etc/machine-id: this ensures that the Agent can query the journal that is stored on the host.


Run the Agent’s status subcommand and look for journald under the Logs Agent section.

Data Collected


journald does not include any metrics.

Service Checks

journald does not include any service checks.


journald does not include any events.


Need help? Contact Datadog support.