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MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual  /  ...  /  Error Logging to the System Log

5.4.2.3 Error Logging to the System Log

If you use mysqld_safe to start mysqld, mysqld_safe arranges for mysqld to write error messages to a log file or to syslog. mysqld_safe has three error-logging options, --syslog, --skip-syslog, and --log-error. The default with no logging options or with --skip-syslog is to use the default log file. To explicitly specify use of an error log file, specify --log-error=file_name to mysqld_safe, which then arranges for mysqld to write messages to a log file. To use syslog instead, specify the --syslog option.