Guide to view all logs on Android (with ADB and applications)

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When we talk about log or registration in Android we refer to the information reported by the operating system (or an app), which indicates what it is doing. The logs are very useful to detect bugs or specific errors. Therefore, when you tell a developer that their app or ROM has a problem, they will ask you to send them a log of your Android to help them solve the problem.

Now, in Android there is a great variety of logs that report actions of different parts of the firmware and, therefore, there are several ways to collect those logs. Next, we will show you what are the most common Android logs and how you can collect them for error reports.

How to view all logs on Android with ADB

android phone

All Android logs can be viewed without downloading third-party apps. The only thing you need is to configure ADB on your PC and Android. If you don’t know how to do it, here is a very useful guide on how to use ADB from any platform.

View Kernel panic logs

Kernel panic is a message that shows the internal errors detected in the operating system. It is a very useful log to know why the system has not booted as expected. For example, if you try to run a custom ROM but your phone gets stuck in the boot loop, your Android’s Kernel panic logs will help the developer figure out what went wrong.

Most Android vendors use the ‘pstore’ and ‘ramoops’ drivers to save kernel logs after a crash. Ramoops writes its logs to RAM before the system crashes. If you have root, you can see these logs with this ADB command:

/sys/fs/pstore/console-ramoops

The file name may be slightly different, but it will be in the pstore directory. You can get it using ADB pull like this: adb pull /sys/fs/pstore/console-ramoops C:\Users\Gaurav\Desktop\filename.

View driver messages

The driver messages buffer log is used to diagnose problems with system drivers. On Android, you can use ‘dmesg’ to get these logs, although this is only possible with root. Not a problem for you? Then use the following ADB command to export the entire log:

adb shell su -c dmesg > dmesg.log

View system logs

As the name suggests, system logs inform you about general operating system errors. Android allows to view these system logs using Logcateither using Android Studio or the command line tool.

To view system logs using ADB, use the following command:

adb logcat > logcat.txt

This command will export a continuous log, so use Ctrl + C to stop it. Additionally, you can use the -d parameter to export the entire log in one go.

adb logcat -d > logcat.txt

If you want, you can also view or save the radio buffer using the following command:

adb logcat -db radio > radio.txt

And if your device is rooted, you can use the terminal application on the device itself to collect the logs. To save a record using Terminal on your phone, enter this command:

logcat -d -f /sdcard/logcat.txt

The best apps to see all the logs on Android

There is also the ability to view Android logs through apps that you can download from the Google Play Store. So, if you don’t get along very well with command consoles, use the following apps to collect the logs you need.

Logcat Extreme

logcat extreme

Logcat Extreme is an application that can help you view logcat and dmesg logs, as well as save each record. It’s pretty simple and easy to use, but it does require root.

It can be used on non-rooted devices, although for this first you must grant it READ_LOGS permission. How? Connecting your mobile to PC and sending the following ADB command: adb shell pm grant scd.lcex android.permission.READ_LOGS.

Logcat Extreme

Logcat Reader

logcat reader

Logcat Reader, on the other hand, is an open source application that lets you view and save system logs. It is quite useful because classifies the logs by colors according to their priorityso it allows you to work in a more organized way.

The app also has a search engine to make it easy to find bugs, a dark theme, and a option to export logs to a text file (TXT). A priori, Logcat Reader does not require root. If you want to know more about this app and review its code, we invite you to see its tab on GitHub.

Logcat Reader

LiveBoot

liveboot

Although not a suitable replacement for logcat, LiveBoot is great in its own way and deserves a mention. The purpose of this application is not to help you debug, but to provide you with a Alternate boot animation that allows you to check for errors with a lot of style. And that’s because LiveBoot replaces your device’s boot animation with logcat and dmesg output as they occur.

Unfortunately, in order to use this application it is necessary to have root and version 2.40 or newer of SuperSU, or a recent version of Magisk, installed on your device.

[root]  LiveBoot

And that’s it! We hope these options work for you. useful to report a problem with your mobile or with an app. And if you are a developer, hopefully you are already taking advantage of these methods to better diagnose your software.

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