Many of the services and programs that run on your computer save data in log files. Typical data include success and error messages for processes that are attempted and lists of actions. Some of these log files are extremely technical while others are easily read and parsed by regular users, if you know what you are looking for. Most log files can be found in
/var/log/ or its subdirectories.
Typically, these logs are used to learn about something that happened recently, so most admins are interested in the most recent entries. In this case, using
tail is common to read just the most recent 10 lines:
matthew@seymour:~$ tail /var/log/boot.log * Starting [ ...