kubectl logs Symbolic Link Error

I recently ran across an interesting error with my development Kubernetes cluster, and while I still have no idea what I may have done to cause it, I at least figured out how to rectify it. As is commonly the case, most of the things I end up deploying to Kubernetes simply log to standard out so that I can view logs with the kubectl logs command. While running this against a particular deployment, though, I received an error:

failed to try resolving symlinks

Looking at the details of the error message, it seemed that running a command like:

kubectl logs -f -n {namespace} {podname}

Is looking for a symbolic link at the following path:

/var/log/pods/{namespace}_{pod-uuid}/{namespace}

The end file itself seems to be something extremely simple, like a number followed by a .log suffix. In my case, it was 4.log. That symbolic link then points to a file at:

/var/lib/docker/containers/{uuid}/{uuid}-json.log

Where the uuid is the UUID of the container in question.

Note: The directory above isn’t even viewable without being root, so depending on your setup you may need to use sudo ls to be able to look at what's there.

I was able to open the -json.log file and validate that it had the information I needed, so I just had to create the missing symlink. I did that with:

sudo ln -s /var/lib/docker/containers/{uuid}/{uuid}-json.log 4.log

Since my shell was already in the /var/log/pods/{namespace}_{pod-uuid}/{namespace} directory, I didn’t need to give the full path to the actual link location, just specify the relative file of 4.log.

Sure enough, after creating this I was able to successfully run kubectl logs against the previously broken pod.

Originally published at https://blog.looped.network on September 10, 2022.

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