error_message_count - Linux


error_message_count counts the occurrences of error messages in system logs, providing insights into system health and potential issues. It is particularly useful for monitoring logs, identifying trends, and troubleshooting errors.


error_message_count [-h] [-l LOG_FILE] [-n COUNT] [-t TIME_RANGE] [-f] [-q]


  • -h, –help: Display usage information.
  • -l, –log-file: Specify the log file to be analyzed. Default: /var/log/messages.
  • -n, –count: Set the minimum number of occurrences for an error message to be printed. Default: 1.
  • -t, –time-range: Specify the time range (in days) to consider. Default: 1.
  • -f, –follow: Continuously monitor the log file for new error messages.
  • -q, –quiet: Suppress all output except error messages.


  • Count all error messages in the default log file:

  • Count error messages that occur more than 10 times:

    error_message_count -n 10
  • Count error messages in a custom log file for the last 5 days:

    error_message_count -l /var/log/custom.log -t 5
  • Continuously monitor for error messages in the default log file:

    error_message_count -f

Common Issues

  • No errors found: Ensure the specified log file has error messages and the time range is appropriate.
  • Too many errors: Adjust the -n parameter to filter out less frequent error messages.
  • Permission denied: Check if you have read access to the specified log file.


error_message_count can be used with other commands to automate tasks:

  • Send email alerts: Pipe output to a command that sends email alerts for critical error messages.
  • Create custom scripts: Combine error_message_count with other commands to perform advanced log analysis or create custom monitoring systems.

Related Commands

  • grep: Search for specific error messages in a log file.
  • tail: Display the last few lines of a log file, including any errors.
  • logwatch: Monitor log files and generate reports on important events, including errors.