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I'm running Ubuntu 17.10 on an HP laptop. It is running normally and stable however recently I am having problems where systemd-journald starts using 100% of one CPU causing it to overheat and shut down.

I've linked the problem to a java application (Pentaho application) which when opened triggers something in systemd-journald to go crazy. I've been using this application for years without problem (and without updates) so this looks to be more of an issue with systemd. Closing the application does not stop systemd so it continues to overheat and shutdown. Another Pentaho application does not cause the same issue.

Research shows plenty of issues with high CPU from journald, but I cannot find a solution to my issue.

Is it possible to exclude an application from systemd logging? Or some other configuration or setting I could change to stop logging?

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If your system is shutting down from overheating you should immediately start using Intel Powerclamp. It comes when installing thermald and installing tlp is also highly recommended.

The advantage of slowing down your CPU when it is about to overheat and shutdown is it gives you a chance to analyze what is happening at that time without it shutting off completely.

The other advantage of slowing down your CPU is avoiding possible damage to a chip that costs $478 (or whatever) not including labor to replace it.

You can read more about all three here: Stop cpu from overheating

The main concern I've had about constant logging in the past is when it grows > 1 GB when normally it's about < 1 MB before it's rolled over and compressed. A disk full due to looping errors is a pain.

  • Thank you for the answer. I do have tlp installed. This response addresses cpu shutdown but does not answer my question about the root cause fo the problem which is an application swamping journald. It would seem there is very little control over systemd journalling which IMHO is the anti-thesis of Linux. – Dave A Feb 1 '18 at 19:13
  • @DaveA Powerclamp was the real focus of my answer as it stops CPU from shutting down for A) better longevity and B) give opportunity to investigate system while crisis in effect. Also you can do orderly shutdown when powerclamp is active. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Feb 1 '18 at 23:38
  • I can confirm I have thermald service running which I thought would prevent unexpected shutdowns. When I run the Pentaho java application via a desktop file the journald CPU issue occurs. If I open the application via command line, it does not most likely due to writing to stdout rather than the system logs. Is there a way to prevent an applications logs from being sent to journald? – Dave A Feb 14 '18 at 2:37

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