Articles taggués ‘administration’

How to monitor a log file on Linux with logwatch

16/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

Linux operating system and many applications create special files commonly referred to as « logs » to record their operational events. These system logs or application-specific log files are an essential tool when it comes to understanding and troubleshooting the behavior of the operating system and third-party applications. However, log files are not precisely what you would call « light » or « easy » reading, and analyzing raw log files by hand is often time-consuming and tedious. For that reason, any utility that can convert raw log files into a more user-friendly log digest is a great boon for sysadmins.

logwatch is an open-source log parser and analyzer written in Perl, which can parse and convert raw log files into a structured format, making a customizable report based on your use cases and requirements. In logwatch, the focus is on producing more easily consumable log summary, not on real-time log processing and monitoring. As such, logwatch is typically invoked as an automated cron task with desired time and frequency, or manually from the command line whenever log processing is needed. Once a log report is generated, logwatch can email the report to you, save it to a file, or display it on the screen.

A logwatch report is fully customizable in terms of verbosity and processing coverage. The log processing engine of logwatch is extensible, in a sense that if you want to enable logwatch for a new application, you can write a log processing script (in Perl) for the application’s log file, and plug it under logwatch.

One downside of logwatch is that it does not include in its report detailed timestamp information available in original log files. You will only know that a particular event was logged in a requested range of time, and you will have to access original log files to get exact timing information.

Installing Logwatch

On Debian and derivatives:

# aptitude install logwatch

On Red Hat-based distributions:

# yum install logwatch

Configuring Logwatch

During installation, the main configuration file (logwatch.conf) is placed in /etc/logwatch/conf. Configuration options defined in this file override system-wide settings defined in /usr/share/logwatch/default.conf/logwatch.conf.

If logwatch is launched from the command line without any arguments, the custom options defined in /etc/logwatch/conf/logwatch.conf will be used. However, if any command-line arguments are specified with logwatch command, those arguments in turn override any default/custom settings in /etc/logwatch/conf/logwatch.conf.

In this article, we will customize several default settings of logwatch by editing /etc/logwatch/conf/logwatch.conf file.

Detail = <Low, Med, High, or a number>

« Detail » directive controls the verbosity of a logwatch report. It can be a positive integer, or High, Med, Low, which correspond to 10, 5, and 0, respectively.

MailTo =

« MailTo » directive is used if you want to have a logwatch report emailed to you. To send a logwatch report to multiple recipients, you can specify their email addresses separated with a space. To be able to use this directive, however, you will need to configure a local mail transfer agent (MTA) such as sendmail or Postfix on the server where logwatch is running.

Range = <Yesterday|Today|All>

« Range » directive specifies the time duration of a logwatch report. Common values for this directive are Yesterday, Today or All. When « Range = All » is used, « Archive = yes » directive is also needed, so that all archived versions of a given log file (e.g., /var/log/maillog, /var/log/maillog.X, or /var/log/maillog.X.gz) are processed.

Besides such common range values, you can also use more complex range options such as the following.

  • Range = « 2 hours ago for that hour »
  • Range = « -5 days »
  • Range = « between -7 days and -3 days »
  • Range = « since September 15, 2014 »
  • Range = « first Friday in October »
  • Range = « 2014/10/15 12:50:15 for that second »

To be able to use such free-form range examples, you need to install Date::Manip Perl module from CPAN. Refer to this post for CPAN module installation instructions.

Service = <service-name-1>
Service = <service-name-2>
. . .

« Service » option specifies one or more services to monitor using logwath. All available services are listed in /usr/share/logwatch/scripts/services, which cover essential system services (e.g., pam, secure, iptables, syslogd), as well as popular application services such as sudo, sshd, http, fail2ban, samba. If you want to add a new service to the list, you will have to write a corresponding log processing Perl script, and place it in this directory.

If this option is used to select specific services, you need to comment out the line « Service = All » in /usr/share/logwatch/default.conf/logwatch.conf.


Format = <text|html>

« Format » directive specifies the format (e.g., text or HTML) of a logwatch report.

Output = <file|mail|stdout>

« Output » directive indicates where a logwatch report should be sent. It can be saved to a file (file), emailed (mail), or shown to screen (stdout).

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Categories: Système Tags: ,

Packet Analyzer: 15 TCPDUMP Command Examples

16/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

Packet Analyzer: efficient network traffic analysispacket analyzer

tcpdump command is also called as packet analyzer.

tcpdump command will work on most flavors of unix operating system. tcpdump allows us to save the packets that are captured, so that we can use it for future analysis. The saved file can be viewed by the same tcpdump command. We can also use open source software like wireshark to read the tcpdump pcap files.

In this tcpdump tutorial, let us discuss some practical examples on how to use the tcpdump command.

1. Capture packets from a particular ethernet interface using tcpdump -i

When you execute tcpdump command without any option, it will capture all the packets flowing through all the interfaces. -i option with tcpdump command, allows you to filter on a particular ethernet interface.

$ tcpdump -i eth1
14:59:26.608728 IP > . ack 540 win 16554
14:59:26.610602 IP >  4278 1/0/0 (73)
14:59:26.611262 IP >  26364  PTR? (45)

In this example, tcpdump captured all the packets flows in the interface eth1 and displays in the standard output.

Note: Editcap utility is used to select or remove specific packets from dump file and translate them into a given format.

2. Capture only N number of packets using tcpdump -c

When you execute tcpdump command it gives packets until you cancel the tcpdump command. Using -c option you can specify the number of packets to capture.

$ tcpdump -c 2 -i eth0
listening on eth0, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 96 bytes
14:38:38.184913 IP > P 1457255642:1457255758(116) ack 1561463966 win 63652
14:38:38.690919 IP > P 116:232(116) ack 1 win 63652
2 packets captured
13 packets received by filter
0 packets dropped by kernel

The above tcpdump command captured only 2 packets from interface eth0.

Note: Mergecap and TShark: Mergecap is a packet dump combining tool, which will combine multiple dumps into a single dump file. Tshark is a powerful tool to capture network packets, which can be used to analyze the network traffic. It comes with wireshark network analyzer distribution.

3. Display Captured Packets in ASCII using tcpdump -A

The following tcpdump syntax prints the packet in ASCII.

$ tcpdump -A -i eth0
tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v or -vv for full protocol decode
listening on eth0, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 96 bytes
14:34:50.913995 IP > P 1457239478:1457239594(116) ack 1561461262 win 63652
......G..7 KA....A...L.
14:34:51.423640 IP > P 116:232(116) ack 1 win 63652

Note: Ifconfig command is used to configure network interfaces

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Categories: Réseau Tags:

What are useful CLI tools for Linux system admins ?

11/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

System administrators (sysadmins) are responsible for day-to-day operations of production systems and services. One of the critical roles of sysadmins is to ensure that operational services are available round the clock. For that, they have to carefully plan backup policies, disaster management strategies, scheduled maintenance, security audits, etc. Like every other discipline, sysadmins have their tools of trade. Utilizing proper tools in the right case at the right time can help maintain the health of operating systems with minimal service interruptions and maximum uptime.


This article will present some of the most popular and useful CLI tools recommended for sysadmins in their day to day activities. If you would like to recommend any useful tool which is not listed here, don’t forget to share it in the comment section.

Network Tools

1. ping: Check end-to-end connectivity (RTT delay, jitter, packet loss) of a remote host with ICMP echo/reply. Useful to check system status and reachability.

2. hping: Network scanning and testing tool that can generate ICMP/TCP/UDP ping packets. Often used for advanced port scanning, firewall testing, manual path MTU discovery and fragmentation testing.

3. traceroute: Discover a layer-3 forwarding path from a local host to a remote destination host with TTL-limited ICMP/UDP/TCP probe packets. Useful to troubleshoot network reachability and routing problems.

4. mtr: A variation of traceroute which characterizes per-hop packet loss/jitter with running statistics. Useful to characterize routing path delays.

5. netcat/socat: A swiss army knife of TCP/IP networking, allowing to read/write byte streams over TCP/UDP. Useful to troubleshoot firewall policies and service availability.

6. dig: DNS troubleshooting tool that can generate forward queries, reverse queries, find authoritative name servers, check CNAME, MX and other DNS records. Can be instructed to query a specific DNS server of your choosing.

7. nslookup: Another DNS checking/troubleshooting tool. Works with all DNS queries and records. Can query a particular DNS server.

8. dnsyo: A DNS testing tool which checks DNS propagation by performing DNS lookup from over a number of open resolvers located across 1,500 different networks around the world.

9. lsof: Show information about files (e.g., regular files, pipes or sockets) which are opened by processes. Useful to monitor processes or users in terms of their open network connections or opened files.

10. iftop: A ncurses-based TUI utility that can be used to monitor in real time bandwidth utilization and network connections for individual network interfaces. Useful to keep track of bandwidth hogging applications, users, destinations and ports.

11. netstat: A network statistics utility that can show status information and statistics about open network connections (TCP/UDP ports, IP addresses), routing tables, TX/RX traffic and protocols. Useful for network related diagnosis and performance tuning.

12. tcpdump: A popular packet sniffer tool based on libpcap packet capture library. Can define packet capturing filters in Berkeley Packet Filters format.

13. tshark: Another CLI packet sniffer software with full compatibility with its GUI counterpart, Wireshark. Supports 1,000 protocols and the list is growing. Useful to troubleshoot, analyze and store information on live packets.

14. ip: A versatile CLI networking tool which is part of iproute2 package. Used to check and modifying routing tables, network device state, and IP tunneling settings. Useful to view routing tables, add/remove static routes, configure network interfaces, and otherwise troubleshoot routing issues.

15. ifup/ifdown: Used to bring up or shut down a particular network interface. Often a preferred alternative to restarting the entire network service.

16. autossh: A program which creates an SSH session and automatically restarts the session should it disconnect. Often useful to create a persistent reverse SSH tunnel across restrictive corporate networks.

17. iperf: A network testing tool which measures maximum bi-directional throughput between a pair of hosts by injecting customizable TCP/UDP data streams in between.

18. elinks/lynx: text-based web browsers for CLI-based server environment.

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How to analyze and view Apache web server logs interactively on Linux

10/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

analyze apache logsWhether you are in the web hosting business, or run a few web sites on a VPS yourself, chances are you want to display visitor statistics such as top visitors, requested files (dynamic or static), used bandwidth, client browsers, and referring sites, and so forth.

GoAccess is a command-line log analyzer and interactive viewer for Apache or Nginx web server. With this tool, you will not only be able to browse the data mentioned earlier, but also parse the web server logs to dig for further data as well – and all of this within a terminal window in real time. Since as of today most web servers use either a Debian derivative or a Red Hat based distribution as the underlying operating system, I will show you how to install and use GoAccess in Debian and CentOS.

Installing GoAccess on Linux

In Debian, Ubuntu and derivatives, run the following command to install GoAccess:

# aptitude install goaccess

In CentOS, you’ll need to enable the EPEL repository and then:

# yum install goaccess

In Fedora, simply use yum command:

# yum install goaccess

If you want to install GoAccess from the source to enable further options (such as GeoIP location), install required dependencies for your operating system, and then follow these steps:

# wget
# tar -xzvf goaccess-0.8.5.tar.gz
# cd goaccess-0.8.5/
# ./configure --enable-geoip
# make
# make install

That will install version 0.8.5, but you can always verify what is the latest version in the Downloads page of the project’s web site.

Since GoAccess does not require any further configurations, once it’s installed you are ready to go.

Running GoAccess

To start using GoAccess, just run it against your Apache access log.

For Debian and derivatives:

# goaccess -f /var/log/apache2/access.log

For Red Hat based distros:

# goaccess -f /var/log/httpd/access_log

When you first launch GoAccess, you will be presented with the following screen to choose the date and log format. As explained, you can toggle between options using the spacebar and proceed with F10. As for the date and log formats, you may want to refer to the Apache documentation if you need to refresh your memory.

In this case, Choose Common Log Format (CLF):


and then press F10. You will be presented with the statistics screen. For the sake of brevity, only the header, which shows the summary of the log file, is shown in the next image:


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How to measure packets per second or throughput on high speed network interface

10/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

throughput networkThere are many traffic monitoring tools available on Linux, which can monitor/classify network traffic, and report real-time traffic statistics in fancy user interfaces. Most of these tools (e.g., ntopng, iftop) are powered by libpcap, which is a packet capture library used to monitor network traffic in user space. Despite their versatility, however, libpcap-based network monitoring tools cannot scale to handle traffic on multi Gigabit rate network interfaces, due to the overhead associated with user-space packet capture.

In this tutorial, I will present simple shell scripts that can monitor network traffic on per-interface basis, without relying on slow libpcap library. These scripts are fast enough to support multi Gigabit rates, but only suitable if you are interested in « aggregate » network statistics on per interface basis.

The secret for the scripts lies in sysfs virtual filesystem which is used by the kernel to export device- or driver-related information to user space. Network interface related statistics are exported via /sys/class/net/<ethX>/statistics.

For example, the statistics on eth0 interface are found in these files:

  • /sys/class/net/eth0/statistics/rx_packets: number of packets received
  • /sys/class/net/eth0/statistics/tx_packets: number of packets transmitted
  • /sys/class/net/eth0/statistics/rx_bytes: number of bytes received
  • /sys/class/net/eth0/statistics/tx_bytes: number of bytes transmitted
  • /sys/class/net/eth0/statistics/rx_dropped: number of packets dropped while received
  • /sys/class/net/eth0/statistics/tx_dropped: number of packets dropped while transmitted

The numbers stored in the files are automatically refreshed in real-time by the kernel. Therefore, you can write scripts that calculate traffic statistics based on these files.

The following are two such scripts (thanks to joemiller). The first script counts the number of packets per second, received (RX) or sent (TX) on an interface, while the latter scripts measures the network bandwidth of incoming (RX) and outgoing (TX) traffic on an interface. For these scripts to work, you do not need to install anything.

Measure Packets per Second on an Interface

INTERVAL="1"  # update interval in seconds
if [ -z "$1" ]; then
        echo usage: $0 [network-interface]
        echo e.g. $0 eth0
        echo shows packets-per-second


while true
        R1=`cat /sys/class/net/$1/statistics/rx_packets`
        T1=`cat /sys/class/net/$1/statistics/tx_packets`
        sleep $INTERVAL
        R2=`cat /sys/class/net/$1/statistics/rx_packets`
        T2=`cat /sys/class/net/$1/statistics/tx_packets`
        TXPPS=`expr $T2 - $T1`
        RXPPS=`expr $R2 - $R1`
        echo "TX $1: $TXPPS pkts/s RX $1: $RXPPS pkts/s"

Measure Network Bandwidth on an Interface

INTERVAL="1" # update interval in seconds
if [ -z "$1" ]; then
 echo usage: $0 [network-interface]
 echo e.g. $0 eth0
while true
 R1=`cat /sys/class/net/$1/statistics/rx_bytes`
 T1=`cat /sys/class/net/$1/statistics/tx_bytes`
 sleep $INTERVAL
 R2=`cat /sys/class/net/$1/statistics/rx_bytes`
 T2=`cat /sys/class/net/$1/statistics/tx_bytes`
 TBPS=`expr $T2 - $T1`
 RBPS=`expr $R2 - $R1`
 TKBPS=`expr $TBPS / 1024`
 RKBPS=`expr $RBPS / 1024`
 echo "TX $1: $TKBPS kB/s RX $1: $RKBPS kB/s"
The following screenshot shows the above two scripts in action.


Source: Xmodulo